Italian protected areas and their role in the conservation of vertebrates


Maiorano, Luigi.. (2007). Italian protected areas and their role in the conservation of vertebrates. Theses and Dissertations Collection, University of Idaho Library Digital Collections.

Italian protected areas and their role in the conservation of vertebrates
Maiorano, Luigi.
Protected areas--Italy Vertebrates--Conservation--Italy Freshwater fishes--Conservation--Italy
Natural Resources
In response to a specific request from the Italian Ministry of the Environment and Territorial Protection (Directorate of Nature Conservation) I initiated a study on the Italian existing and proposed protected areas. In particular, I considered the conservation status of terrestrial vertebrates (mammals, regularly breeding birds, amphibians, reptiles) and freshwater fish. For each of the (roughly) 500 species considered, I built a habitat suitability model and, using GAP analysis, irreplaceability analysis, and red list criteria, I evaluated their conservation status inside conservation areas. Moreover, I evaluated the capacity of the existing protected areas to act as buffers against the massive changes in land-use/land-cover that are occurring throughout the Italian peninsula.;More than 11% of the Italian national territory is legally protected, but on the average Italian protected areas are small. Moreover, even considering that the number of GAP species in Italy is relatively low, it must be stressed that most of the species presented a conservation deficit and were not represented enough by the existing protected areas.;The protected areas that are currently proposed for institution in Italy (the so-called Natura2000 network) is an extremely important conservation effort that will raise the percentage of national territory to be protected to almost 20%. However, even with this percentage, the system of conservation areas is not able to preserve into a favorable conservation status the species for which it has been instituted. There are important gaps especially in the Mediterranean islands, exactly where the concentration of species important for conservation is highest.;Finally, given their size, protected areas are not able with few exceptions, to arrest or even to slow down the land-use/land-cover change that is ongoing in Italy. This is particularly important in flat areas and coastal plains, where the areas are smaller and most of the changes go towards artificial land-use/land-cover classes.
Thesis (Ph. D., Natural Resources)--University of Idaho, June 2007.
Major Professor:
Edward O. Garton.
Defense Date:
June 2007.
Format Original:
xiii, 235 leaves :ill., maps (some col.) ;29 cm.

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