When a species is endangered it's likely that there is a conflict of interests among stakeholders. This multidisciplinary study combines ethics, education, and conservation biology with the aim of promoting the conservation of the freshwater crayfish Austropotamobius pallipes. This crayfish is suffering a dramatic reduction throughout its distribution range, also in protected areas as in the Monte Barro Regional Park (Italy), where the introduction of an alien crayfish species (Orconectes limosus) in 2013 drove the local population of A. pallipes to extinction. To plan an effective restoration of the crayfish population, we investigated visitors' behaviors and awareness on conservation issues, and identify the possible obstacles to the conservation of the crayfish in the area. In 2017, 290 visitors were interviewed, and the results show that visitors go to the Park primarily "to go for a walk" (77.6%), but also "to take the dog out" (15.2%). None of them visit the Park for fishing, and only 10 participants (3.4%) went fishing outside the Park in the previous year. About half of the respondents completely agree that the Park should invest in education to promote the conservation of the species, but only 12.8% of them completely agree on the choice of eradicating alien species. Moreover, we discovered that a few participants (3.4%) heard of people releasing animals (including alien crayfish species) inside the Park. Poaching of native crayfish was reported by 3.8% of the respondents. Notably, 10 people admitted the improper use of outdoor equipment, which can contaminate creeks by the transmission of pathogens from other water bodies, becoming threats to the freshwater ecosystem. Measuring people's awareness, we found that only 29.7% of participants were able to report a possible action that promotes the conservation of freshwater species, and only a quarter of the participants had heard about alien species before. There was a significant difference in knowledge of alien species depending neither on respondents' gender nor on their level of education. People who were aware of the alien species issue were significantly more often able to mention actions for freshwater species conservation (Yates corrected chi square=39.49, p<0.001). The present study will help to target the public for educational actions and to identify possible situations of risk in freshwater crayfish conservation. The results highlighted the needs of educational activities and ethical awareness about alien species to raise concern and to explain the need to implement eradication as the regulation requires (EU n. 1143/2014). These actions are necessary to soften future conflicts with the public about conservation strategies.

The extinction risk for threatened species in protected areas: the case of the freshwater crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes) in Italy / L. Ferrante, M. Bonelli, D. Scaccini, R. Manenti, S. Normando, D. Florio, B. de Mori. ((Intervento presentato al 5. convegno European Congress of Conservation Biology tenutosi a Jyväskylä nel 2018.

The extinction risk for threatened species in protected areas: the case of the freshwater crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes) in Italy

M. Bonelli
Secondo
;
R. Manenti;
2018

Abstract

When a species is endangered it's likely that there is a conflict of interests among stakeholders. This multidisciplinary study combines ethics, education, and conservation biology with the aim of promoting the conservation of the freshwater crayfish Austropotamobius pallipes. This crayfish is suffering a dramatic reduction throughout its distribution range, also in protected areas as in the Monte Barro Regional Park (Italy), where the introduction of an alien crayfish species (Orconectes limosus) in 2013 drove the local population of A. pallipes to extinction. To plan an effective restoration of the crayfish population, we investigated visitors' behaviors and awareness on conservation issues, and identify the possible obstacles to the conservation of the crayfish in the area. In 2017, 290 visitors were interviewed, and the results show that visitors go to the Park primarily "to go for a walk" (77.6%), but also "to take the dog out" (15.2%). None of them visit the Park for fishing, and only 10 participants (3.4%) went fishing outside the Park in the previous year. About half of the respondents completely agree that the Park should invest in education to promote the conservation of the species, but only 12.8% of them completely agree on the choice of eradicating alien species. Moreover, we discovered that a few participants (3.4%) heard of people releasing animals (including alien crayfish species) inside the Park. Poaching of native crayfish was reported by 3.8% of the respondents. Notably, 10 people admitted the improper use of outdoor equipment, which can contaminate creeks by the transmission of pathogens from other water bodies, becoming threats to the freshwater ecosystem. Measuring people's awareness, we found that only 29.7% of participants were able to report a possible action that promotes the conservation of freshwater species, and only a quarter of the participants had heard about alien species before. There was a significant difference in knowledge of alien species depending neither on respondents' gender nor on their level of education. People who were aware of the alien species issue were significantly more often able to mention actions for freshwater species conservation (Yates corrected chi square=39.49, p<0.001). The present study will help to target the public for educational actions and to identify possible situations of risk in freshwater crayfish conservation. The results highlighted the needs of educational activities and ethical awareness about alien species to raise concern and to explain the need to implement eradication as the regulation requires (EU n. 1143/2014). These actions are necessary to soften future conflicts with the public about conservation strategies.
Settore BIO/07 - Ecologia
Settore BIO/05 - Zoologia
Settore M-FIL/03 - Filosofia Morale
https://peerageofscience.org/conference/eccb2018/107432/
The extinction risk for threatened species in protected areas: the case of the freshwater crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes) in Italy / L. Ferrante, M. Bonelli, D. Scaccini, R. Manenti, S. Normando, D. Florio, B. de Mori. ((Intervento presentato al 5. convegno European Congress of Conservation Biology tenutosi a Jyväskylä nel 2018.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/581468
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