Monitoring of insects in Habitats Directive 92/43/CEE
Many European countries have published national guidelines for the monitoring of insect species included in Annexes II and IV of the Habitats Directive.
However, in Italy standardized protocols for monitoring, for the estimation of changes in population size, the level of threat and the state of conservation of endangered species have not yet been developed (an upcoming publication of Trizzino et al. , 2013 should be at least partially fill this gap).
The second national report on the implementation of the Habitats Directive, which covered the period 2001-2006, contains an assessment on the conservation status of species included in Appendices II, IV . The lack of standard monitoring procedures makes it impossible to assess the state of conservation of populations. The MIPP project proposed as main objective to develop and to tune up monitoring protocols for some important insect species in Annexes II and IV of the Habitats Directive (Osmoderma eremita, Lucanus cervus, Cerambyx cerdo, Rosalia alpina, Morimus funereus, Zerynthia polixaena,Parnassius apollo, Lopinga achine, Saga pedo), with the aim, moreover, to standardize these protocols on a national scale. Since the objective of the Directive is to achieve and maintain a favorable conservation status (FCS) of all habitats and species of Community interest, monitoring is essential to provide a clear description of both the conservation status of populations and their trends at different levels, determining the effectiveness of the Directive in terms of approach and the stated goal. The conservation status of a species can be considered favorable only if:
- the data on population dynamics of the species indicate a long-term maintenance of the species itself in its natural habitat;
- the natural range of the species is not and will not be in reduction;
- the habitat is (and it will remain in the future) large enough to maintain the populations in the long term.
It should be noted that the assessment of the conservation status not only includes elements of diagnosis, but also of prognosis, based on known threats and refers to the overall status of the species within but also outside of the areas of the Natura 2000 Network.