METAPOPULATION APPROACH FOR LARGE MAMMALS IN EUROPE – CASE STUDY ALPS
Nature protection legislation is based mainly on species protection and on protected areas. Neither approach is practical for the conservation and management of species which require vast areas to form viable populations and that have different conservation status among the regions. This is typically true for large carnivore species like the brown bear, wolf and lynx, but also for other large mammal species like ungulates whose populations extend far beyond protected areas and whose presence however causes conflicts with human land uses. For all these species a differentiated concept that sets the focus on the (meta) population would make more sense, both in regard to the biological/ecological needs of the species as well as for differentiated management aspects. However, such an approach requires a comprehensive proceeding which takes into account the different management and conservation concepts with their varying often contradicting priorities. A broad partnership between state institutions, experts and interest groups, a strong conceptual framework and – as a practical tool – a network of information is needed to achieve this.
The internet platform MALME was created with the aim to promote the overall Alpine view of wild animal conservation through improved information conveyance.
The internet platform is no longer updated since 2016.
An information platform was established which covers data and documents on the large Alpine mammals as well as information on aspects such as land use, policy and initiatives in the Alps. The species considered were: Brown bear, Eurasian lynx, wolf, Alpine chamois, Alpine ibex, red deer, roe deer, wild boar and mouflon. Documents were integrated as PDFs in their original language but complemented with a short English summary. These could be accessed, both, under the respective topic and in the library section of the website. There was also a map center and links to statistics.
The conceptual approach is supported by the Guidelines for Population Level Management Plans for Large Carnivores by the Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe (LCIE) on behalf of the European Commission. In the Alps on the political level, there is now a transboundary arrangement in the form of the Platform Wildlife and Society (WISO) of the Alpine Convention which aims to find solutions to manage large carnivores and wild ungulates harmoniously based on an integrated approach.
MALME supported this process by compiling information and making it available online. Until the end of 2015, over 1,500 documents were integrated.
Project duration: 2005–2012, updated until 2015
Study area: Alps
Sponsors: WWF Switzerland (Development), FOEN (Maintenance)
Contact KORA: Manuela von Arx, Urs Breitenmoser