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      The LIFE Project “Monitoring of insects with public participation” (MIPP): aims, methods and conclusions

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          Abstract

          The Life Project “Monitoring of insects with public participation” (LIFE11 NAT/IT/000252) had as the main objective to develop and test methods for the monitoring of five beetle species listed in the Annexes of the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC): Osmoderma eremita (hermit beetle, Scarabaeidae), Lucanus cervus (European stag beetle, Lucanidae), Cerambyx cerdo (great capricorn beetle, Cerambycidae), Rosalia alpina (rosalia longicorn, Cerambycidae) and Morimus asper/funereus (morimus longicorn, Cerambycidae). The data gathered represent an important contribution to the monitoring of these target species in Italy. The methods developed for monitoring of the target species are intended for use by the local management authorities and staff of protected areas. These developed methods are the result of extensive fieldwork and ensure scientific validity, ease of execution and limited labour costs. The detailed description of methods and the results for each species are published in separate articles of this special issue of Nature Conservation. A second objective of the project was to gather faunistic data with a Citizen Science approach, using the web and a mobile application software (app) specifically built for mobile devices. The validation of the records collected by the citizens was carried out by experts, based on photographs, which were obligatory for all records. Dissemination activities represented the principal way to contact and engage citizens for the data collection and also offered the possibility of providing information on topics such as Natura 2000, the Habitats Directive, the role of monitoring in nature conservation, the importance of forest ecosystems and the ecological role of the saproxylic insects. An innovative method tested during the project was the training of a dog for searching and monitoring the elusive hermit beetle; the trained dog also added a “curiosity” factor to attract public attention towards this rare insect and the issues mentioned above.

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          Most cited references 44

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          Monitoring of biological diversity in space and time

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            Monitoring for conservation.

            Human-mediated environmental changes have resulted in appropriate concern for the conservation of ecological systems and have led to the development of many ecological monitoring programs worldwide. Many programs that are identified with the purpose of 'surveillance' represent an inefficient use of conservation funds and effort. Here, we revisit the 1964 paper by Platt and argue that his recommendations about the conduct of science are equally relevant to the conduct of ecological monitoring programs. In particular, we argue that monitoring should not be viewed as a stand-alone activity, but instead as a component of a larger process of either conservation-oriented science or management. Corresponding changes in monitoring focus and design would lead to substantial increases in the efficiency and usefulness of monitoring results in conservation.
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              Biodiversity in Dead Wood

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Conservation
                NC
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-3301
                1314-6947
                August 01 2017
                August 01 2017
                : 20
                : 1-35
                Article
                10.3897/natureconservation.20.12761
                © 2017

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