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Favilli F.,Institute for Regional Development and Location Management | Hoffmann C.,Institute for Regional Development and Location Management | Elmi M.,Institute for Regional Development and Location Management | Ravazzoli E.,Institute for Regional Development and Location Management | Streifeneder T.,Institute for Regional Development and Location Management
Nature Conservation | Year: 2015

BioREGIO Carpathians is a transnational cooperation project, co-financed under the second call of the EU South East Europe Transnational Cooperation Programme, priority area "Protection and Improvement of the Environment". BioREGIO Carpathians run for three years (2011-2013) and is a flagship project for the Carpathian Convention (article four dealing with landscape and biological diversity), its Biodiversity Protocol and the Biodiversity Working Group. The project is built on the conservation, restoration and valorisation of the Carpathians ecological continuum to enable large herbivores and carnivores to live in coexistence with modern society. The Carpathian countries are expecting a massive pressure to modernize and extend their road infrastructures. If not considering the requirements of ecological network, this run-to-development will enhance landscape fragmentation, limit dispersal and genetic exchange of wildlife species. BioREGIO applied a multi-disciplinary approach (physical, legal and socioeconomic) in order to identify the most influencing barriers regarding connectivity throughout the Carpathians. Using two ArcGIS 10.0 tools in a three-step approach and a series of site visits, the continuity and connectivity analysis identified not only physical barriers but also legal aspects and socio-economic behaviour that are influencing ecological connectivity and playing a major role to conserve wildlife population. The investigation on the ground together with local experts and stakeholders enabled the adaptation of the GIS results and the development of feasible solutions to overcome the detected barriers with recommended priorities for implementing appropriate measurements to maintain connectivity and to sustain large carnivores, herbivores and biodiversity in the Carpathians. Copyright Filippo Favilli et al. Source

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