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Natural Habitats in Europe Are Under Threat

We all know that how important role the natural parks play in order to preserve Europe’s biodiversity. This provides environmental, health, economic and cultural benefits. Industrial activities and climate change are challenging European habitats, meaning specially protected areas are also confronted with environmental pressures. Apparently, these areas need to monitor changes, adapt management strategy and consider flexible responses to future developments.

Core zones in the national parks have been established to stop the loss of biodiversity by conserving and providing habitat spaces for a critical mix of species. Undoubtedly, climate change will be an important factor influencing habitats in the next decades. So nature conservation agencies will require new tools to monitor changes and offer new responses to ongoing developments.

The Habit Change Project by Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development in Dresden will focus on adaptive management measures for habitats in the protected areas of Eastern and Central Europe that may be affected by the climate change. The project is going to estimate, enhance and adapt the existing management and conservation strategies in the protected areas so that they can respond on possible impacts of the climate change that threaten habitat integrity and diversity.

The sites covered by the project are managed as national parks or natural parks with a focus on forests, wetlands or alpine areas. These reserves have several different types of habitats that are very vulnerable to climate change. Habitat Change will be monitoring the impacts of climate change with the earth observation systems (EOS). Then it will model the impacts of the climate change and risk involved. From these stats, the project will suggest guidelines as well as the tools such as the Adapted Management Plans.

In the last phase of the project, it will provide recommendations and guidelines to manage natural parks and will also develop a web based decision support tools.