URCA  (URgent Conservation Actions pro Emys orbicularis in Italiy and Slovenia) PROEMYS the project to improve the conservation status of the native pond terrapins  Emys orbicularis in Italy and Slovenia through a long-term programme.

The numbers:

Breeding centres
Natura 2000 sites involved
Restocking sites
Young terrapins released into the wild
Sites involved in habitat restoration

LIFE URCA PROEMYS project and the Natura 2000 sites

The project aims to improve the conservation status of the European pond terrapin Emys orbicularis; a protected species, included in Annexes II and IV of the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC, whose trade is prohibited by the 1979 Bern Convention.

The project involves 55 Italian and Slovenian Natura 2000 sites where the European pond terrapin is present.

Habitat restoration, restocking activities, eradication of Invasive Alien Species and monitoring are planned at these sites.

The partnership includes a number of Natura 2000 site management bodies; this will facilitate the achievement of results and, in particular, the increase in the presence of Emys orbicularis, thanks to the reintroduction and restoration of suitable habitats, capable of sustaining viable populations, even after the end of the project.

At least 30 Natura 2000 sites will benefit from the habitat restoration measures. As far as restocking is concerned, the selection of point sites within the sites will also be based on the criteria described in the Integrated Management Plan and the sharing of the following parameters

1) species habitat

2) aquatic habitats protected on the basis of the Natura 2000 classification (All. I, Directive 92/43/EEC)

What is established in the Integrated Management Plan, elaborated within the project, will be applied, from the beginning, in all the Natura 2000 sites (Italian and Slovenian) involved in the project. The LIFE URCA PROEMYS project is based on a clear conservation strategy of the WWF Oasis system established to monitor species and habitats of Community interest in the Oases belonging to the Natura 2000 Network and on an approach consistent with the philosophy of the Natura 2000 Network in promoting projects on “target” species or habitats by the different area managers.

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