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Conservation of marine and coastal biodiversity with special reference to the protection of minor species (Emilia-Romagna)

Background

Conservation and protection of biodiversity in marine, coastal and transition areas are issues of great interest not only at European level, but also for the entire Mediterranean basin. According to the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), many populations of different plant and animal species in the world are already greatly decreased, and, in many cases are still rapidly decreasing. This is the last step before declaring the extinction of these organisms that today still live in the wild. Particular protection should be addressed to the so-called "minor species" (reptiles and amphibians), native of north Adriatic marine areas and lagoons of Emilia-Romagna.

The groups identified are part of the so-called “minor fauna”(insects, reptiles, amphibians), that has now taken a scientific and managerial value important as Birds and Mammals.

This activity involves the implementation of measures inspired by the criterion of environmental sustainability and aimed at durable and long-term effects. At the same time, among the outputs it will include proposals for actions aimed at the sustainable development of traditional activities and functions of new educational and training which could cause the birth of new companies and small local economies non-invasive and natural little impact on the environment.

The coastal area of Emilia-Romagna shows an heterogeneous structure, consisting of a series of ecosystems ranging from coastal forests (holm oak and pine forests), to wetlands, coastal dunes and agro-ecosystems. The main problem of these ecosystems is the lack of connection in most of the areas of natural interest, becoming as “true islands” for the populations of amphibians, reptiles, small mammals, insects and other invertebrates.

How does the activity develop in Emlia Romagna?

 The main goal of this activity is to develop an action plan of environmental restoration of the coastal territory finalized to an increase in biodiversity is identifying and protecting sites with potential vocations to host species of amphibians and reptiles, with particular reference to those most threatened by anthropic activity.

It’s necessary to implement a territory management strategy finalized to the gradual establishment of ecological networks, obtained by linking different natural and semi-natural elements. The environmental quality of areas as the Park can be improved by creating connections (ecological corridors) between fragments of natural habitat wrecks, such as edges of fields, uncultivated areas, bands wooded shelterbelts, lowlands flood plains, water networks