ALPBIONET2030 – Protection for the Alpine Space

The project ALPBIONET2030 will establish and support strategies for future conservation of alpine ecosystems and biodiversity. (Photo: Georg Mair/Vetmeduni Vienna)

Stubai Alps  1

Protected areas and connected natural axes - landscapes that wildlife can cross - form the basis of an Alpine “ecological network” for the protection of habitat and biodiversity. Such regional nature networks are now receiving additional support through the ALPBIONET 2030 project, which is funded by the European Union´s Alpine Space Programme. In various work packages, conditions for the implementation of ecological connectivity measures and national biodiversity strategies throughout the Alpine region will be improved. The Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology of the Vetmeduni Vienna is responsible for the management of a work package for the analysis and improvement of Alpine wildlife management strategies, as well as the development of standardized forensic methods, which will be helpful for combating wildlife crime.

Superregional and transnational ecological networks provide an important foundation for the global and Alpine protection of habitats and species. However, much work remains to be done until an integrated concept for the protection of ecosystems and biodiversity can be realized in the Alps. The enhancement of an Alpine ecological network is now being supported by the ALPBIONET 2030 project.

Improving wildlife management and fighting wilflife-related crimes

"ALPBIONET2030, under the guidance of the network of Alpine protected areas, ALPARC, will improve the prerequisites for the implementation of ecological  connectivity measures across the Alpine region and thereby contribute to the implementation of national biodiversity strategies," explains Chris Walzer from the Research Institute for Wildlife Ecology. "In the project, we are taking over the management of our own work package for the analysis and, if necessary, improvement of Alpine game management strategies. This includes development of a toolkit for standardized forensic methods, which are necessary in combating wildlife-related crime."  Together with relevant stakeholders such as hunters, foresters or criminal investigators, the team will develop Alps-wide strategies and promote practices that foster ecological connectivity, while pointing out those that can harm it.

ALPBIONET2030 is also a contribution to the conservation protection protocols of the Alpine Convention and the so-called macro-regional strategy for the Alpine Space (EUSALP). "The objectives of this cross-national approach of the European Union overlap with those of the Alpine Convention in significant areas. However, they go beyond the borders of the Alpine area as defined in the Convention, "says Walzer.  "The FIWI team will therefore also contribute to the development of guidelines, which are to form the basis for a network strategy with individual ecological cohesion axes within the Alpine region and links to neighboring areas outside the Alps."  The strategy is to propose, among other things “Strategic Alpine Conservation Areas – SACA”.  Furthermore, the coexistence of humans and non-human nature is a topic of investigation that will be incorporated into the development of the wildlife management strategy.

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