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Transporting Biodiversity Using Transmission Power Lines as Stepping-Stones

The most common ecological response to climate change is the shifts in species distribution ranges. Nevertheless, landscape fragmentation compromises the ability of limited dispersal species to move following these climate changes. Building connected environments that enable species to track climate changes is an ultimate goal for biodiversity conservation. An experiment was conducted to determine if electric power transmission lines could be transformed in a continental network of biodiversity reserves for small animals. The study analysed if the management of the habitat located inside the base of the transmission electric towers (providing refuge and planting seedlings of native shrub) allowed to increase local richness of target species (i.e., small mammals and some invertebrates' groups). The results confirmed that by modifying the base of the electric transmission towers density and diversity of several species of invertebrates and small mammals increased as well as number of birds and bird species, increasing local biodiversity. The study suggests that modifying the base of the electric towers would potentially facilitate the connection of fragmented populations. This idea would be easily applicable in any transmission line network anywhere around the world, making it possible for the first time to build up continental scale networks of connectivity. informacion[at] Ferrer et al (2020) Transporting Biodiversity Using Transmission Power Lines as Stepping-Stones? Diversity 12(11): 439;

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Large carnivore damage in Europe: Analysis of compensation and prevention programs

Large carnivore damage in Europe: Analysis of compensation and prevention programs

The mitigation of conflicts associated with large carnivore damage to livestock and agriculture is pivotal to their conservation. Current programs to compensate and prevent large carnivore damage in 27 European countries and the factors related to the economic costs of these programs are evaluated here. Overall, high compensation costs are associated with free-ranging livestock (68% of total costs) and with national economic wealth. Contrary to general belief, the return of large carnivores does not always translate into higher compensation costs. This study identifies a tendency towards prioritizing compensation over prevention; only a few wealthy countries pay the majority of the money allocated for prevention programs to adapt husbandry practices to the presence of large carnivores. Results show that programs mainly focused on paying large compensation amounts will often fail to build tolerance towards predators. To mitigate conflicts and optimize the cost-effectiveness of publicly funded measures, responsible agencies should be proactive, focus on prevention-based policies and periodically evaluate the effectiveness of compensation and prevention programs in an adaptive manner. With this purpose and to identify further solutions for conflict mitigation, a pan-European database of damage occurrence, management actions and associated costs is called for. informacion[at] Bautista et al (2019) Large carnivore damage in Europe: analysis of compensation and prevention policies. Biol Conserv