Project Summary

            The human society is facing major changes both on the availability of certain resource types and especially on the dramatic decline of a wide range of services provided by natural capital biostructure. The current rate of changes of natural and semi-natural ecological systems is much higher than previously observed, mainly as a result of the cumulative anthropogenic activities (MEA, 2003). Economic growth and the globalization phenomen, which have resulted in expanding the spatial scale of socio-economic and seminatural systems, generated and accelerated the change of socio-ecological structure and function. The impact of these approaches had important consequences on the management of natural systems, including the management of populations and species in particular manifesting by spatial share loss or disappearance of some ecosystem types (reduction of wetland area – considered unproductive systems, reducing the surface covered by forests etc.), reduction of the representation share of some species/populations and/or their extinction, modification of the ecosystem (e.g. substitution of natural forests to forest plantations) with effects on ecosystem functioning and ecosystem complexes. Not at least this type of management has led to the deterioration of diversity, quantity and quality of the resources and services generated by the Natural Capital (single-function systems, over-exploitation of water and biological renewable resources, pollution etc.) (Pinay et al. 1990, Turner et al., 2001, De Groot, 2002, Costanza and Faber, 2002, Maltby et al., 1996, Rees, 2006), with a significant impact on wildlife populations with direct economic value. In response to these changes occurred also the need to develop the management plans for wildlife fauna populations with direct economic value. Hunting resources protection and development of small venison hunting is, in this context, a need that can be achieved by the transition to an adaptive management approach which recognizes the dynamic, non-linear nature and complexity of both populations/species and systems where these populations are integrated. The proposed project aims to protect and develop resources for small venison hunting by increasing the efficiency of the management of wildlife populations with economic value: the hare (Lepus europaeus), the pheasant (Phaesianus cholchichus), the partridge (Perdix perdix), and migratory small venison species. It covers the development and application of new and innovative methods and tools that allow the hunting fund managers to assess predict and effectively manage these resources. The project objectives are: 1) increasing the understanding of the wildlife resource management and its efficiency analysis (WP 1). 2) the development of the conceptual framework for integrated and adaptive management of small venison populations at different spatial and temporal scales based on the structural and functional characteristics of populations (WP 2). 3) modeling the multiple effects of management actions at different spatial scales (from the ecosystem to the species/population level) in two pilot areas (WP 3). 4) developing methods and instruments for effective assessing and managing of economic value wildlife fauna (WP 4). 5) adapting and developing the integrated and adaptive management model along with the collaboration of hunting funds managers (WP 5). 6) ensuring the new knowledge transfer to the target groups / dissemination (WP6).
The development and implementation of the project is supported by a consortium of institutions that are experienced and have relevant data and information: Institute of Forest Research and Management (ICAS-Brasov), Carpathians Foundation, Transylvania University and the University of Bucharest – Department of Systems Ecology and Sustainability (UB-DESS) and the National Forest Administration.