In December 2016, the agreement signed between the Italian Mammal Society and ISPRA on the 1st of January 2015 concluded. It regarded the developing of guidelines for the monitoring of those mammal species listed in Appendix 2, 4 and 5 of the 92/43/CE EU Directive, better known as the Habitat Directive.
Every six years, each Member State must provide a report for the distribution and conservation of these species and their habitats. It is thus essential to define efficient, replicable and financially sustainable techniques for their monitoring by the regions they are found in, that are responsible for said reports.
The guidelines were developed by Romina Fusillo and Giulia Sozio, two ATIt members that were recruited through an internal tender, together with expert members that supported the review and completion of the guidelines.
The result of this project was included in the ‘Manuali per il monitoraggio di specie e habitat di interesse comunitario (Direttiva 92/43/CEE) in Italia: Specie animali.’ ISPRA. Manual and guidelines 141 / 2016. ISBN: 978-88-448-0788-7, downloadable from the ISPRA website.
The agreement with ISPRA also supported the discussion within the european team with regards to the definition of the Favourable Reference Values (FRV) which are essential to determine a species’ state of conservation. Each Member State is obliged to state numerical threshold values (population) and distribution values (occupied area and range) for the species listed in the Appendix 2, 4 and 5 of the Habitat Directive that will determine if the current range, occupied area or population are sufficient to declare a state “favourable” or “not favourable”. In the event of a “non favourable” state, if it is “inadequate” or “bad”.
The Italian Mammal Society supported the discussion on measurable criteria for those mammal species in the Appendixes of the Habitat Directive. The results of these European group discussions were key to the development of the guidelines that were published in March 2017.