Parc National du Mercantour

Nice, France

Parc National du Mercantour

Nice, France
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Taberlet P.,CNRS Alpine Ecology Laboratory | Zimmermann N.E.,Swiss Federal Institute of forest | Englisch T.,CNRS Alpine Ecology Laboratory | Tribsch A.,CNRS Alpine Ecology Laboratory | And 52 more authors.
Ecology Letters | Year: 2012

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) aims at the conservation of all three levels of biodiversity, that is, ecosystems, species and genes. Genetic diversity represents evolutionary potential and is important for ecosystem functioning. Unfortunately, genetic diversity in natural populations is hardly considered in conservation strategies because it is difficult to measure and has been hypothesised to co-vary with species richness. This means that species richness is taken as a surrogate of genetic diversity in conservation planning, though their relationship has not been properly evaluated. We tested whether the genetic and species levels of biodiversity co-vary, using a large-scale and multi-species approach. We chose the high-mountain flora of the Alps and the Carpathians as study systems and demonstrate that species richness and genetic diversity are not correlated. Species richness thus cannot act as a surrogate for genetic diversity. Our results have important consequences for implementing the CBD when designing conservation strategies. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

Duchamp C.,Applied Research Unit on Predator and Depredator species | Boyer J.,Applied Research Unit on Predator and Depredator species | Briaudet P.-E.,Applied Research Unit on Predator and Depredator species | Leonard Y.,Applied Research Unit on Predator and Depredator species | And 8 more authors.
Hystrix | Year: 2012

The wolf recovery in France dates back to 1992, following the natural range expansion of the remaining Italian population since the late 1960's. Facing a high level of interactions between wolves and sheep breeding, decision makers had to quickly balance the need for managing livestock depredations with the conservation of wolves as a protected species. The French authorities therefore required a reliable assessment of changes in the species range and population numbers, as well as a reliable monitoring of depredations on livestock, all being key variables to be further included within the governmental decision making process. Because of their elusive behaviour, high mobility, and territoriality, applying a standard random sampling design to the monitoring of awolf population would lead to almost no chance of collecting any signs of presence. In order to increase detectability, we use a dual frame survey based on two spatial scales ('population range' and 'reproductive unit') investigated sequentially thanks to a network of specifically-trained wolf experts distributed over 80000 km2 to collect the data. First, an extensive sign survey at a large scale provides so-called cross-sectional data (pool of signs from unknown individuals for a given year), thereby allowing the detection of new wolf occurrences, new pack formations, and the documentation of geographical trends. Secondly, an intensive sign survey within each detected wolf territory, based on standard snow tracking and wolf howling playback sessions, provides some yearly updatable proxies of the demographic pattern. The combination with a non invasive molecular tracking provides longitudinal data to develop mark-recapture models and estimate vital rates, population size and growth rate, while accounting for detection probabilities. The latter are used in turn to control for proxies' reliability and to implement demographic models with local population parameters. Finally, wolf activity patterns in connection with predator-prey dynamics is investigated through a pilot study carried out with both wolves and four ungulate preys radio-collared. A particular attention is paid to checking the reliability of presence sign data, as well as improving the cost-efficiency ratio of the monitoring. Finally, these results are also used by the government as one of the components in the decision making process related to the management of coexistence with wolves. ©2012 Associazione Teriologica Italiana.

De Biaggi M.,Parco Naturale Regionale delle Alpi Marittime | Leccia M.-F.,Parc National du Mercantour | Kroupa A.,Humboldt University of Berlin | Monje J.C.,State Museum for Natural History
Eco.mont | Year: 2010

The Mercantour National Park and the Alpi Marittime Natural Park are working together to create the first complete inventory of the biodiversity on their territory. The project, called All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory+Monitoring, represents a unique opportunity for protected areas to gather an impressive amount of information on their natural heritage from the work of taxonomists and other scientists from all over Europe. The inventory is an extremely useful source of knowledge for defining conservation strategies compatible with local land use and for assessing the changes in species richness and ecosystem functions through monitoring activities.

Milanesi P.,University of Pavia | Giraudo L.,Parco Naturale delle Alpi Marittime | Morand A.,Parc National du Mercantour | Viterbi R.,Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso | Bogliani G.,University of Pavia
Ecological Research | Year: 2016

We analysed bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) occurrences collected through long-term monitoring (from 1993 to 2010) in the Western Alps (1) to test whether ecological niches shift due to individual development and (2) to verify whether these patterns could reflect their spatial distribution. Thus, we compared the distribution patterns of three age classes (‘young’, ‘sub-adults’ and ‘adults’) through the K-select analysis. We then computed ten species distribution models (SDMs) and their average prediction to test for differences in age class distribution. The K-select analysis showed highly significant differences in the ecological niche among all the age classes and we also found highly significant differences in all the SDMs among the three age classes considered. Our results quantitatively showed that target species exhibits age specific shifts in the ecological niche and changes in the spatial distribution of individuals. Our methods are potentially widely applicable for testing differences among age classes of other species and thus, defining the best conservation actions (such as re-introduction) by taking into account different requirements in different stages of the individuals’ life. © 2015, The Ecological Society of Japan.

The All-Taxa Biodiversity Inventory of Mercantour/Alpi Marittime, started in 2007, aims to characterize exhaustively the biodiversity of the Pare national du Mercantour (France) and the Parco Naturale Alpi Marittime (Italia). This inventory is based on the sampling and identification efforts of the taxonomic community and on the integration of the results by the managers of both parks. In addition to the substantial knowledge acc|uired thanks lo this inventory, this project could lead 10 a better collaboration between the world of taxonomy and that of conservation area management.

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