This research direction includes the assessment of species’ status (conservation status), the definition of ‘key habitats’ in need of special protection, the analysis of pressures, the formulation of management actions and the development of management tools and solutions that mitigate the negative impacts of human activities on species and their habitats.
The research work related to biodiversity conservation is conducted in accordance with the requirements of the EU Directive on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (92/43/EEC), as well as with the principles laid down by the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern, 1979) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (Rio de Janeiro, 1992). Consequently, the activities of this research group focus on acquiring and managing biological and ecological data related to species, habitats, site and protected-area conservation, and on the development of environmental management applications for maintaining essential ecological processes and life support systems.
The fields of research in this axis are multiple and, inter alia, include:
- taxonomic validations for vulnerable or endangered taxa
- distribution studies, biogeographic research and applied assessments of the conservation status of species and species populations
- identification of priority habitats (and areas) for conservation or habitats that support endangered species
- natural history studies and biological/ecological studies providing essential information for invetory, monitoring, restoration and sustainable environmental management
- artificial fish breeding, with the purpose of stimulating and restoring populations at risk of extinction
- development of environmental management plans at both speceis and site level
In this research field, the institute supports several scientists with in-depth experience on Mediterranean freshwater fishes; macro-invertebrate communities; birds and reptiles; river, pond and wetland habitat ecology; riparian, lake and wetland vegetation; urban water bodies, protected-area management; and habitat restoration. Marine fishes and threatened marine invertebrates also occupy the institute’s marine scientists as elements of the biodiversity that requires assessment, conservation and monitoring.