Nature conservation in The Forests of the Low Campine (Flanders)

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1 Nature conservation in The Forests of the Low Campine (Flanders) From butterflies to public awareness Dries Gorissen Agency for Nature and Forest

2 Context (1) Dramatical loss of biodiversity threatened with Maes, D.; Van Dyck, H. (2001). Butterfly diversity loss in Flanders (north Belgium) rare : Europe's worst case scenario?, in: (2001). Biol. conserv. 99(3). Biological conservation, 99(3): pp extinct extinction threatened vulnerable insufficient known not threatened Callophrys rubi Hesperia comma Limenitis camilla Melitaea cinxia Maes, D.; Van Dyck, H. (1999). Dagvlinders in Vlaanderen. Ecologie, verspreiding en behoud. Stichting Leefmilieu/Antwerpen i.s.m. Instituut voor Natuurbehoud en Vlaamse Vlinderwerkgroep/Brussel.

3 Context (2) No general policy framework at the national or regional level evidence-based conservation Local pioneer work experience- and tradition-based conservation

4 Forests of the Low Campine Official partnership between: - Agency for Nature and Forest, - Three municipalities. Sustainable management of ha - Advantages of scale, - Complementarity, - Consultation, - Participation.

5 Agricultural land Fields and pastures Nutrient-poor grasslands Hedgerows and patches Homogeneous pine forest Deciduous woodland fens Wet heathland Dry Heathland Open landdunes

6

7 an integral approach on the scale of the landscape is required

8 Survey Vision Management plan Application Results Monitoring

9 Survey Scientific supported image of the essential biotic and abiotic information: Habitats, Species, Structures, Bottlenecks, Potentials Standardised method to map vegetation and forest parameters + Available information on the distribution of species Knowledge of distribution of target species incomplete From vegetation towards functional habitat? From structural corridors towards functional connections?

10 Forest clearings and edges

11 Monitoring Scientific supported evaluation system of the results: Natura 2000 species and habitats Effectiveness of management Overall system for management evaluation (under construction) Significance of local initiatives Platform fauna and flora Brainstorming group in relation to nature management = Since 2004 almost 50 volunteer naturalists and professional managers Activities

12 Platform fauna and flora Activities Inventarisation - Smooth snake, Viviparous lizard, - amphibians, - lichen, - mosses, - mushrooms, - Saprophytic beetles, - butterflies, - grasshoppers Monitoring - nightjar, woodlark, birds of prey, - Mapping of breeding birds, - butterflies, - dragonflies, - Results of sod cutting, - monitoring ground water levels

13 Platform fauna and flora Activities Formulation of management options and guidelines

14 Platform fauna and flora Activities Evaluation and adaptation of management

15 Specific survey of Red list species C. rubi L. camilla H. comma H. semele

16 Specific survey of Red list species C. rubi L. camilla H. comma H. semele I. lathonia

17 L. camilla, adaptation of management plan

18 Butterfly valley Relicts of fens, wet and dry heathland, nutrient-poor grassland in agricultural valley with hedgerows and some extensive grainfields

19

20

21 Mowing in phases Sod cutting Extensive cereal fields Deforestation

22

23 Aantal Butterfly monitoringroute Species specific monitoring M. cinxia (nests of caterpillars) Species specific monitoring I. lathonia Verdeling per biotooptype Sectie generalisten en trekvlinders bossen overgangssituaties en ruigten graslanden en heiden

24

25 Conclusion

26 Nature Society butterflies biodiversity ecosystems guidelines Environmental quality evaluation + making comprehensive sensibilisation mobilisation responsabilisation appreciation

27 Thank you & Thanks to Hans Van Dyck

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