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NATURA 2000 vs HUNTING - THREAT OR OPPORTUNITY?. NATURA 2000 GOAL Conservation of biodiversity in UE through: - protection of habitats types threanated.

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Presentation on theme: "NATURA 2000 vs HUNTING - THREAT OR OPPORTUNITY?. NATURA 2000 GOAL Conservation of biodiversity in UE through: - protection of habitats types threanated."— Presentation transcript:

1 NATURA 2000 vs HUNTING - THREAT OR OPPORTUNITY?

2 NATURA 2000 GOAL Conservation of biodiversity in UE through: - protection of habitats types threanated and/or representative for designated bioregions - protection of rare and threanated species of plants and animals RULE Integration of nature conservation with various forms of human activities

3 NATURA 2000 An idea of the networks is based on: Traditional conservation measures Defined methodology of network designation Procedure of network element verification Introduction into the network functioning the rule of integration of nature conservation with various forms of human activities

4 NATURA 2000 Stages of designation of NATURA 2000 network Elaborating list of sites on a country level Identification of sites of a Community importance Designation of Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) – Habitat Directive Designation of Special Protection Areas (SPA) – Bird Directive

5 BIRD DIRECTIVE COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 79/409/EEC on conservation of wild birds This Directive relates to the conservation of all species of naturally occurring birds in the wild state in the European territory of the Member States to which the Treaty applies. It covers: -the protection -management -and control of these species And lays down rules for their exploitation.

6 BIRD DIRECTIVE 19 articles + 5 annexes Shall take the requisite measures to preserve, maintain or re- establish a sufficient diversity and area of habitats for all the species of birds (article 3). The species mentioned in Annex I shall be the subject of special conservation measures concerning their habitat in order to ensure their survival and reproduction in their area of distribution (article 4). It means creating Special Protection Areas. Shall take the requisite measures to establish a general system of protection for all species of birds (article 5). Shall take measures to regulate and control trade of birds (article 6). Shall take measures that birds hunting does not jeopardize conservation efforts in their distribution area (article 7). Tasks to conduct for Member States:

7 BIRD DIRECTIVE BIRD SPECIES WHICH REQUIRE SPECIAL CONSERVATION EFFORTS (181 species) -Threatened species -Species vulnerable to their habitat changes -Rare species (small, local populations) For these species, Member States shall create Special Protection Areas (SPA) Annex I In Poland we have 124 species from Annex I (69 breeding species).

8 HABITAT DIRECTIVE GŁÓWNY CEL: Utrzymanie różnorodności biologicznej w obrębie terytorium państw członkowskich Unii Europejskiej (art. 2.1) poprzez ochronę zagrożonych i rzadkich typów siedlisk przyrodniczych oraz gatunków zwierząt i roślin on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (24 articles + 6 annexes) Cele szczegółowe: - utworzenie sieci Natura 2000 dla ochrony określonych typów siedlisk przyrodniczych oraz siedlisk gatunków (art. 3-11, zał. I-III) - utworzenie ogólnego systemu ochrony gatunków (art. 12-16 i 22, zał. IV- VI), za wyjątkiem ptaków Uwaga: Obecny kształt nadały Dyrektywie Siedliskowej poprawki wprowadzone dyrektywą 97/62/WE, przystosowującą do rozwoju technicznego i naukowego dyrektywę 92/43/EWG

9 NATURA 2000 sites in Poland 285 sites were selected (180 OSO i 181 SOO) Area of suggested sites ranges from < 1 ha to 166 000 ha Sites covered about 15% country area. Ongoing activities

10 ALL NATIONAL PARKS NATURA 2000 sites in Poland A network would involve

11 86 AREAS OF LANDSCAPE PARKS (71 in total or major parts and 15 in some part) NATURA 2000 sites in Poland A network would involve

12 526 nature reserves A network would involve NATURA 2000 in Poland

13 How Natura 2000 network can support currently existing system of protected areas? Considerably increase EFFECTIVELY protected area of the country Creates opportunity to protect some areas, which were disputed for long time Creates opportunity to protect some ecosystem types to larger extent comparing to current situation

14 Example - protection of river valleys

15 Minuses of Natura 2000 Controversial lists of species which are objects of conservation. Controversial idea of favourable conservation status of a habitat. What about a natural dynamics of habitats? Methodology of designing sites is not detailed enough. Lack of coherency of the network (mainly lack and no legal status for ecological corridors) Financial constraints (larger areas – larger costs covered by a country) Financial constraints (system of financing within a country).

16 Share of SAC in EU (data from 2004) Średnia dla EUR 15 – 14,3 %; propozycja Polska – 10,4 % 3,7%

17 WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT (HUNTING) and NATURA 2000 SITES Starting point for any disussions on consequencies of establishing a Natura 2000 site for wildlife management there is a requirement that using for hunting purposed will not decrease conservation status of habitats or species for which a site was established. Underlying assumption is that if a given site has still keeps so hight nature values under human use it would imply that current way of use is fulfilling requirements to protect habitats and species Potential threats from wildlife management/hunting might be direct and indirect.

18 Direct threaths (consequencies of harvesting itself and harvest activities): -harvesting of game species which are objects of protection on Natura 2000 sites which might negatively influence the species number and population structure; -killing (by mistake) individuals from species which are objects of protection on Natura 2000 sites; -frightening animals during hunting (higher level of human presence and penetration ove the area); - harvesting of game species which make a food base for species which are objects of protection on Natura 2000 sites.

19 Indirect threaths (consequencies of activities aiming at increasing quality of hunting grounds): - introduction of alien species disturbing existing nature ecosystems - changing internal structure of habitats

20 Harvesting vs protection of Natura 2000 sites In Poland, there are 18 species of mammals listed in Annex II of Habitat Directive. However, none of them is a game species in Poland. Concerning birds, only 1 species listed in Annex 1 of the Bird Directive is a game species in Poland (hazel grouse Bonasia bonasa). Species which require establishing Natura 2000 sites are not species which require strict (full) protection. Their survival depends on effective conservation of their habitats and habitats should be targets of conservation. So harvesting of these species is not forbidden, however it harvesting should be on such a level to maintain a stable population in a given area.

21 Harvesting vs protection of Natura 2000 sites IMPORTANT: a species should be carefully monitored and when a negative trand in number is found, a respective measures should be taken (including also limitation and finishing of harvest). Hazel grouse population in Poland is in a good shape (ca 70-90 000). So currently, there are no indicators to stop hunting.

22 Harvesting vs Natura 2000 sites Some species require establishing Special Areas of Conservation (to protect their habitas), eg. European beaver, wolf. Currently, they are under full protection. Several special permits to kills a certain number of these species are issued annually, due to economic damages they cause. In Natura 2000 sites such control activities will be still possible, under the condition that populations of these species will still be maintained in a favourable status. It would be useful if Special Areas of Conservation for these species were designated in locations where there will be small conflicts with human interests.

23 Harvesting vs Natura 2000 sites Killing (by mistake) individuals from species which are objects of protection on Natura 2000 sites. Hunter Ethical Rules: …Harvest only game species, shooting protected species is against ethics. ….. Shoot only when you recognized a game....

24 Harvesting vs Natura 2000 sites Frightening animals during hunting (higher level of human presence and penetration of the area, shooting, etc.). It may mainly concern birds in nesting period. Birds which are frightened too often may not return to nest finally. Mammals should be effected to much less extent.

25 Harvesting vs Natura 2000 sites Harvesting of game species which make a food base for species which are objects of protection on Natura 2000 sites. It may mainly concerns large carnivores (wolf, lynx). Overhunting red deer and roe deer in such Natura 2000 sites which will be designated for their conservation can desrease the natural prey base for these carnivores. In such a case a certain limitation of ungulate harvest might be considered. What we know now is that roe deer is key prey for the lynx. That is why roe deer number monitoring can be expected in sites designated for lynx conservation. If population too low, harvest will be limited.

26 Increasing quality of hunting grounds vs Natura 2000 sites A major management taks on grounds used for hunting is creating good quality habitat and food conditions. Especially important is increasing quality and quantity of food base. Small meadows inside forests. Here, the only concern might be of use of pesticides. Browsing sites where various species of trees and shrubs attactive for ungulates are planted. Often, alien species are untortunately used, eg. Robinia pseudoaccacia, …. sumak octowiec, moszeniec południowy. …. Seed sites where tree species producing nutritionous seeds are planted (Quercus, Aesculus). Often, the North American Quercus rubra is used. Alien species will be not allowed, only native species.

27 Increasing quality of hunting grounds vs Natura 2000 sites Water habitats: better shelter for water fowl. Leaving some parts of high grass and reed. Planting some trees and shrubs along banks of rivers and lakes. In ponds and lakes intensively used for fish production where plant cover is regularly removed, these activities should not be conducted in period of bird nesting. Also at this period a water level should be maintained on a relatively stable level. In field habitats: maintaing small water bodies in a good shape and renaturalisation of larger water bodies left after gravel or sand exploitation.

28 Increasing quality of hunting grounds vs Natura 2000 sites No conflict: supplementary winter feeding of ungulates, limiting number of feral and stray dogs and cats, introduction of individuals from captivity (threatened species) to restitute/restock small natural populations. Recently, threatenedalso means hares and partridges. Possible conflict: if a negative impact would be expected for structure of local native ecosystems, for example due to introduction of alien species.

29 SUMMARY (1) Designation and later operation Natura 2000 sites should not have any major effect on wildlife management on these sites. We can expect same minor changes concerning allowed hunting seasons: - in Poland there is still allowed some traditional hunting on some species during reeding season, for example woodcock males, which is againt a rule of sustainable use of nature resources; - a rule that hunting should be conducted after a season of nesting and after period when mathers still take care for youngs. In Poland season for ducks is open too early, especially in northern part of the country where many duck females in the mid of August still take care for young (still not able to fly).

30 SUMMARY (2) Establishing of Natura 2000 sites can be even profitable for wildlife management. For example, promotion of extensive agriculture should have a positive effect on recover of small game (hares, partridges) number. These species require a mosaic structure of fields, high variability in crop types, and numerous shelters left (bushes, groups of trees, small bogs and places with water). Additionally, field observations by hunters might be an important supplementary source of knowledge on these sites and provide monitoring data. Fighting illegal harvesting (which is an important threat for several species under protection in Natura 2000 sites) is already an ongoing activity of hunters. Activity of hunters to restore populations/species gives hopes for their participation in future programs of species restitution and habitat renaturalisation within Natura 2000 network.


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