New project: Multiperspective view on the biodiversity in forests

The European Wilderness Society has started a new project: ‘Multi-perspective view on fauna biodiversity in forests and forest edge areas’. The 2-year project is funded by the Austrian Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism. The pilot project aims to develop proposals for conservation and improvement of fauna biodiversity in forests and forests forest edge area.

The project focuses on:

  • Wildlife management
  • Microclimatic regulations
  • Forest vulnerabilities
  • Minimal intervention management
  • Forest conversion practices

For two years, various excursions as well as conferences, workshops and seminars will focus on different effects of climate change and the impact of the fauna on the forest and forest edge areas of Europe and Austria.

The conclusions and experience gained could be directly related to Austria’s forest management strategies. They will be used as a basis for the development of management plans. The project aims to develop ideas for a more dynamic and integrative nature conservation approach in Austrian forests by motivating forests managers to voluntarily implement measures to mitigate the consequences of climate change while ensuring a sustainable supply of forest products.

Dynamic and integrative approach

The field trips aim to illustrate and discuss the ecological impact of forestry measures on the functioning of forest ecosystems in selected European countries. The field trips are offering a number of case studies of hot spot forest areas for example in Switzerland, Czech, Germany, Italy, Slovakia and Austria. Some of the issues the excursion will focus on will be: 

  • natural reforestation after the end of grazing in high alpine regions,
  • the effect of predators on deer and red deer and wild boar populations and the impact of natural reforestation as well as disease outbreaks, especially swine fever and the
  • Large-scale impact of forest fires, windbreaks and the resulting bark beetle infestations in the context of climate change and comparative forest management in protected areas and private forests. 

Meetings with state and private forest managers and other relevant stakeholders will provide information of previous and current legislative framework and practical management experience of forest ecosystems.

First meeting in Austria

On Tuesday 28th of May, the first project meeting takes place with a variety of stakeholders in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Lungau. There will be presentations, workshops, field trips and guest speakers. Specific topics will include:

  • Role of forest fauna and large carnivores
  • Climate change impact on tree lines
  • Effect of grazing on forest edges
  • and more!

Identifying and sharing best-practices to benefit fauna biodiversity in forests that are normally only used commercially, is a great development towards a better sustainable future in the field of forest management.

Vlado Vancura
Wilderness Director, European Wilderness Society

Please also visit: Biodiversität im Wald

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