Regular, summer and nesting migrant.
Numbers are rising steadily, in site IT4020017 “Area delle risorgive di Viarolo, Bacini di Torrile, Fascia golenale del Po”, in 2006 over 200 pairs reproduced in two separate colonies (Torrile Wildlife Reserve and Zamorani heron colony). In 2005, 371 pairs nested in Frescarolo (4020018), in site IT4020018 Prati e ripristini di Frescarolo e Samboseto and 10-15 pairs in site IT4020025 “Parma Morta”.
Its excellent conservation status is due to the creation and maintenance of marshy areas and heron colonies. However, colonies are extremely localised, which could make the population more vulnerable in the absence of alternative nesting sites. The intense concentration of the species in breeding sites of limited size makes it vulnerable to local adverse events and human pressure.