A socio-ecological evaluation of wetlands restoration and reintroduction programs in favor of the emblematic European pond turtle and associated biodiversity: a pan-European approach (EMYS-R)

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The EMYS-R project is a 3-year international research project focused on participatory activities in the field of nature protection, based on the most important theories in the field of humanities, social and natural sciences. The aim of the project is to test the hypothesis that a higher degree of wetland restoration can compensate for the limited capacity of the captive Emys orbicularis pond turtle to settle in the wild, and to answer the question of how such conservation measures can benefit society by bringing people closer together and the nature.

Implementation period: from 01/02/2022 to 31/01/2025.

The project includes three main activities:

1) study of the ecological processes improving wetland remediation, and reintroduction of the Emys pond turtle by:

• regeneration of habitats after reclamation using biocenotic indicators;

• monitoring of reintroduced populations of the Emys European pond turtle and the effects of these measures on other species using the latest biology and eDNA methods.

2) seeking a compromise and balance between goals, benefits and policies through the ecological and socio-economic prism:

• investigating the impact on non-target species (endangered amphibians and invasive crayfish);

• explore the benefits of restoration and people’s perception of the restored nature;

• raising public awareness and conducting deliberative processes regarding decision-making in the field of nature protection.

3) development of guidelines for optimal wetland restoration methods, conducive to the reintroduction of the Emys pond turtle and the involvement of people in nature protection based on:

• applied integration approach;

• review of past and current research results;

• a new model predicting the distribution and abundance of the Emys European pond turtle in the near future.

Doctoral students working under the international supervision of their promoters will assist in dissemination of the research results among various social and professional groups, including the scientific community, communities and stakeholders, and by supporting similar initiatives involving people in nature conservation in Europe.

Consortium partners:

  • CNRS & Université de Strasbourg, Institut Pluridisciplinaire Hubert Curien (IPHC), Strasbourg – project leader
  • CNRS & Université de Strasbourg, Laboratoire Image Ville Environnement (LIVE), Strasbourg
  • ENGEES, GEStion Territoriale de l’Eau et de l’Environnement (GESTE), Strasbourg
  • Collectivité européenne d’Alsace, Strasbourg
  • LOEWE Center for Translational Biodiversity Genomics (TBG), Senckenberg Nature Research Institute, Frankfurt
  • Kreisverwaltung Germersheim, District administration Germersheim, Department for Environment and Agriculture (Untere Naturschutzbehörde), Germersheim
  • Nature And Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU), Mainz
  • Daugavpils University, Life Science and Technology Institute, Daugavpils
  • University of Gdańsk – project leader for Poland
  • Collegium Civitas, Warsaw

Project in international cooperation in the framework of the BIODIVRESTORE program implemented in Poland by the National Science Center, contract number UMO-2021/03/Y/NZ8/00101.


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