Assessing the effectiveness of different approaches to species conservation



I carry out this project towards my PhD degree with major in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Dept. of Biosciences. As the title well indicates, the project is focused at finding and assessing cost-effective strategies for the conservation of species in landscapes which have been heavily modified by centuries or millennia of human activities. The rationale for this project is that, as resources for conservation are always limited, there is a strong need to allocate them in the best possible cost-effective way. Although the project is mainly focused on raptors in intensively managed boreal forests, some other species will be also considered, like the Siberian flying squirrel.
With the first study of my PhD research I was able to demonstrate that inexpensive voluntary participation of forest owners can be a very effective, and virtually cost-free, strategy for conserving nest sites of mid-sized raptors which are threatened by intensive forest management in the area of North Karelia. The study was made possible by the incredible effort of Hannu Lehtoranta, from the Forestry centre of North Karelia, who collected all the raptor data and approached all interested forest owners in the area.
At this stage, I am writing a review on protection strategies for raptor nests in Europe and North America and discuss if and how a voluntary conservation approach can be implemented on a wider scale on the basis of the positive example reported from North Karelia.
A next step will be to look at whether the conservation measures for protecting breeding sites of the flying squirrel in Finland are effective in achieving their specific conservation target, and possibly how can they be implemented. This project will be run in collaboration with Ralf Wistbacka from the University of Oulu who will also provide the data necessary for the study.
Finally, I´ll also investigate whether protection measures for the conservation of nest sites of the White-tailed sea eagle (so far implemented through expensive land acquisitions by the government) are really needed, and whether the cost-effectiveness of such strategy can be implemented (i.e. by reducing the protection buffer area around the nest without impacting on the birds nest occupancy and breeding success).
Gällande start-/slutdatum01/01/201031/12/2013


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