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Development of a procedural framework for action plans to reconcile conflicts between the conservation of large vertebrates and the use of biological resources: fisheries and fish-eating vertebrates as a model case

Livrables

Organization of a workshop with the stakeholders to inform them of the output of the interviews and previous FRAP work, and to start the process of setting up a common data set of information. BAP present best practices were also presented that could help to "reconcile" the conflict at local level. Two were retained and public engagements on relevant funding planning were made. The future workshop to be held under WP 11 is closely related to WP 6, 9 and WP 10. It will be based on 2 previous workshops, one restricted to the Public Bodies at a regional and local level, and the other with the local stakeholders. The next and final one will be at national level and with a wide audience and held within the frame of an international bird-watching fair.
During the first workshop with the Public Authorities and the second one, the first with all local stakeholders, we presented them the output of the research, a minimum data set of information to start the process of building a shared data set, and BAPs from WP 9, in a participatory approach. We modified the Educational Material leaflet to be printed and distributed to the general public, with the information and stakeholder's outputs from the two wks. During the third workshop we will distribute the leaflet to inform the general public, local and national, about the FRAP project.
During the past 3 years an interdisciplinary team with researchers from the natural and social sciences from 9 European countries has joined to study human-wildlife conflicts using fisheries and fish-eating vertebrates as model cases. The project called FRAP was funded by the EU. The main goal of the project was the development of a generic framework for reconciliation action plans for conflicts between wildlife conservation and human resource use. The project team has developed a proposal for a new book on Human-Wildlife Conflicts that presents the joint experience gained in the analyses of various model conflicts and a generic framework for the development of biodiversity reconciliation action plans. The generic framework is a structured procedure covering ecological and legal, economic, and social aspects of the conflicts in concern. It is presented as a concrete, step-by-step guideline for people that have to deal with human-wildlife conflicts. The target groups are mainly managers and decision makers in such conflicts, representatives of the affected stakeholder groups that are involved in negotiations of conflict resolution, and scientists that contribute to the development of reconciliation action plans. It facilitates the identification of gaps in existing reconciliation approaches that may hamper their success and it helps to design reconciliation action plans for new or previously ignored human-wildlife conflicts. Please find attached a brief outline of the planned book and a preliminary Table of Content. What is the major focus of this book? This book is about conflicts between different stakeholder groups triggered by protected species that compete with humans for natural resources. The species in mind are particularly clever and adaptable, therefore difficult to manage. Partly due to successful species protection policies, they are increasing in numbers and distribution, getting again in closer contact with humans and raising more and new conflicts. The book deals with various types of damages caused by protected vertebrates and their management. It is about key ecological features of typical conflict species and mitigation strategies including technical mitigation and modelling approaches. At the same time, it covers a systematic analysis and development of policies for conflict mitigation and the design of participatory decision strategies involving relevant stakeholders. How does the book differ from previous books? In North America, there is a long tradition in the field of resolving human-wildlife conflicts, which led to the establishment of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a governmental authority dealing with damage and conflicts due to wildlife. Whereas several books are available that focus on North American experiences or on the experience in conflicts with a singular particular species, the FRAP project was the first major integrated research attempt to address human-wildlife conflict reconciliation in Europe from a generic point of view. While the book provides a European perspective covering case studies from various European countries, it also develops a framework for the development of biodiversity conflict reconciliation action plans that can be used globally. Whereas previous projects in Europe and elsewhere usually could draw only on a limited range of scientific experience, the FRAP project and thus the planned book draws on the experience of a wide range of wildlife biologists, fishery biologists, economists as well as legal and social scientists. In addition, globally, previous research efforts focussed on the development of frameworks to identify hotspots of human-wildlife conflicts whereas adequate frameworks to guide managers and scientists in their struggle to develop and implement reconciliation action plans are still missing but direly needed.
The technology of coded wire tagging has been implemented in investigations of the level of cormorant predation. Previously only more traditional methods of estimating consumption by ear-stone and bone analyses have been used, but now we showed that tagging of a known number of prey fish combined with extensive sampling and scanning of pellets, can give much more accurate estimates of the effect of predation on given fish populations in the wild.
Modelling of ecosystem effect of greys seal in the Baltic. Comparison of the effect of seal predation on the major fish resources and the fishery mortality. Analysis of the effect of the seal on the Baltic fish ecosystem.
Partly as a consequence of the results gained in this project a new national management body was established. The task of the group is to implement this new knowledge about cormorant predation and its effect on local fish populations into the national cormorant management plan. This plan is being revised in 2007 and the preparatory work has started. The group has to provide a broad agreement between experts, managers and stakeholders about a balanced future cormorant management.
During the International Po Delta Bird-watching Fair, organized by DELTA 2000, in April 2006 we would like to have the FRAP Final Italian Workshop (WP11). In 2004, the visitors of the Bird-watching Fair were 25, 000 and last year - 2005 - they peaked up to 30, 000. Visitors are interested in nature and tourism, so during the Fair we could have person interested in nature, tourism, and the Best Practices presented, such as the "sacrificial ponds", or the concept of payment of environmental services to extensive aquaculture ponds, could be interesting for management authorities of Parks, Protected Areas, and so on, to develop bird-watching and to try to solve the local "conflicts" related to biodiversity uses.
We want to develop a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) for the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) in the Czech Republic and Austria. Aim is to reconcile conflicts with this species in the field of pond and stream fishery. The RAP will serve a guideline for local and regional managers which ways of conflict management can lead to reconciliation and which scientific data and methods will be appropriate from several fields of research (ecology, economy and social sciences).
We want to develop a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) for the Great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis) in Austria. Aim is to reconcile conflicts with this species in the field of pond and stream fishery. The RAP will serve a guideline for local and regional managers which ways of conflict management can lead to reconciliation and which scientific data and methods will be appropriate from several fields of research (ecology, economy and social sciences).
The result is based on an analysis of European law, International agreements and legal and institutional framework regarding the project's model conflicts in eight countries. The result identifies the most relevant parts of the present legal and institutional framework covering the model conflicts and their reconciliation. The results also show some limitations set by existing laws ands policies. The results are scientific findings. So far, they are only used in the project, but will be disseminated with other project findings. Their potential practical use is that they help conflict managers in developing reconciliation measures and policy-makers in pointing out potential need for improving policy framework.
In collaboration with regional stakeholders in the study area in Finland the FRAP project team will help to assess and further develop already existing regional action plan to reconcile a conflict between grey seal conservation and coastal fishing. The work will be started already during the FRAP project. Regional stakeholders published the action plan in 2003. The FRAP project will help to enhance the plan and other activities in the region based on the findings of the research project (FRAP). The work to develop the plan will be started already during the FRAP project. Since the FRAP project's scope is slightly different from the action plan enhancement, it cannot be finished during the FRAP. In addition, the final results of the FRAP are needed in the enhancement process. Deliverable "Enhanced action plan" will be produced in collaboration with regional stakeholders.
The cormorant impact on traditional (extensive aquaculture) can be quantified trough the use of food web model if are available information on predators (fishery included) and prays living in the aquatic ecosystem. All these information, biological and ecological, can be elaborated with "Ecopath with Ecosim", an ecological software suite for personal computers that has been under development in the last ten years. The software has more than 2000 registered users representing 120 countries, more than a hundred ecosystem models applying the software have been published (http://www.ecopath.org). Ecopath, the static, mass-balanced snapshot of the suite, was used to quantify the damage of cormorant on the fisheries activities in a managed lagoon ecosystem lagoon. Ecopath was applied comparing a "summer period", with a low presence of cormorant, and a "winter period" when the presence of wintering birds coincide with the peak of yield of the fish stocked in the lagoon.
Development of fatty acid analysis for diet studies on seal. A comparative study of fatty acid signature and analysis of food remains in the digestive tract of a sample of grey seals.
Diet composition of grey seal in the Baltic. Analysis of hard-part remains in the digestive tract of 248 grey seals from the period 2002-2005. Calculation of the total yearly consumption. Revision of national management plan for grey seals in Sweden. The new plan is expected for 2007.