From ecological islands to connected landscapes

Nov 16, 2011
Many animals live in particular outside of protected areas; most persons are not aware of the importance of ecological networks; a functioning economy needs biodiversity. These are the most important findings of ECONNECT. The Alpine-wide project came to its end in November 2011 after a bit more than three years of work.
Western capercaillie: in the Hohe Tauern Pilot Region the habitat conditions for this threatened bird have been improved through forest management.

Western capercaillie: in the Hohe Tauern Pilot Region the habitat conditions for this threatened bird have been improved through forest management.
© Eidgenössische Forschungsanstalt WSL

The ECONNECT partners request that measures for the protection of animals and plants must not be limited to singular "ecological islands" or corridors. This is because ecosystems can only protect us from natural hazards or adapt to climate change when there is enough natural diversity. "Ecological networks need to be considered as a value by society", says one of the project's policy recommendations. The project partners also request that information on the situation of forests or water courses which have been collected with public funding need to be publically accessible. These information are key for determining which habitats need to be connected with each other.
In the seven pilot regions of the project first successful actions have been undertaken for connecting habitats. The project of the Austrian National Park Hohe Tauern has already been a model for the "Capercaillie action plan" of the Austrian province of Carinthia.
The results of the ECONNECT project have been documented in various final publications: www.econnectproject.eu/cms/?q=download_area