Life Claw is a project to conserve and enhance the stock of the endangered crayfish Austropotamobius pallipes in North-Western Apennine area of the Italian regions Emilia Romagna and Liguria, by a long-term conservation programme.
Crayfish barriers systems created
Breeding facilities established/renewed
Rared hatchery- juveniles of A. pallipes population restoration
habitat restoration interventions
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Life Claw and Natura 2000
Project aims at improving the conservation status of the crayfish Austropotamobius pallipes which need urgent conservation measures, since it is listed in the annex II and V of habitat directive CEE93/43. Many Natura 2000 sites with different geographical features are involved (see intervention areas section) where restoration habitat interventions are planned.
The partnership include PNATE, PRA, EPEO which manage bodies of Natura 2000 sites, and they will facilitate the results achievements and the widespread presence of crayfish on the territory by protecting and restoring suitable environments that can sustain viable populations even after the project LIFE-CLAW. Suitable habitats for the species are in fact present in “Natura 2000” concerned sites, so much so that in many cases the crayfish are still popular.
Northwestern Italy is a hotspot for A. pallipes where high nucleotide diversity was detected and different groups overlap, so, conservation strategy for A. pallipes in Northern Italy, must take into account the complexity of the biogeographic pattern and the progressive isolation of local populations. In the project areas, according to the 2014 Natura 2000 SDFs and Specific Measures of Conservation (MSC) the species is still present in 24 out of 28 sites. An estimation of 50 A. pallipes populations is plausible, but often they are relict, appear low-density and are confined to small streams. Specific initiatives/activities dedicated both to Public Bodies expert in management of RN2000 sites and to the stakeholders (volunteering associations) that organize activities in the RN2000 sites and that can directly or indirectly interfere (positively or negatively) with the conservation condition of the crayfish populations, will be carried out.
At last, all the teachers of the schools involved in environmental education activities will be able to use the contents of the lessons and the didactic materials produced to implement the design of specific educational programs on the conservation of nature in RN2000 sites.
The LIFE program
LIFE is the European Union program aimed at protecting the environment, understood as habitat, species and biodiversity, as an efficient and sustainable use of natural resources, environmental protection and environmental governance to safeguard health, fight against polluting emissions and climate change , improving policies, governance and introducing more effective systems in the environmental field.
Made in its first edition in 1992, LIFE is one of the “historic” programs of the European Union. It is divided into two main components: an “Environment” sub-program and a “Climate Action” sub-program, in turn organized into priority sectors and types of action.