Biodiverse Urban Habitats in Ioannina, Greece

Biodiverse Urban Habitats in Ioannina, Greece

By: Austin Perez One of Greece’s largest cities has proven to be an unexpected biodiversity hotspot supporting an urban habitat for a diverse array of vegetative species. Ioannina is a city in the northwestern region of Greece with a population of over 112,000 people, and is full of centuries worth of history and culture. But researchers have recently discovered that Ioannina is also a biodiversity hotspot and provides a fruitful habitat for a wide diversity of plant species. A recent study has discovered that Ioannina has 11 different habitat types supporting 379 plant species, 27 of which are of conservation interest. Over half (68%) of all of the plant species and subspecies studied were found to be existing in anthropogenic habitats, which were either designed or altered by human activity. This case study presented by Ioannina exemplifies that the anthropogenic habitats of European cities can function as important areas for biodiversity. The existence of biodiverse habitats in city areas demonstrates the importance of promoting urban planning policies that incorporate a focus on nature conservation. This is a key strategy of the WILD Cities Project, which is striving to support the existence and productivity of wild nature in urban areas all over the world in congruence with the Nature Needs Half vision. >> Read more here: Urban habitats as a refuge for biodiversity: A case study in Greece © Aimilios Petrou Source: Kantsa, A., Tscheulin, T., Junker, R.R. et al. (2013). “Urban biodiversity hotspots wait to get discovered: The example of the city of Ioannina, NW Greece”. Landscape and Urban Planning. 120: 129 137. DOI:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2013.08.013.    ...
The Flathead River Valley

The Flathead River Valley

By: Austin Perez The Flathead River Valley is a vast area of magnificently beautiful wilderness that spans across the United States/Canada border from British Columbia to Montana. Conservation groups have just announced that more than $10 million in private and public funds have been acquired to protect the Flathead River Valley from mining and oil and gas development. In doing so, a major step has been taken towards ensuring the conservation of this remarkable area of wild nature. For over 20 years, environmentalists have been working to ensure the protection and conservation of the Flathead River Valley as a critical element of a mission to preserve wild nature from Yellowstone to Yukon.  “Y2Y” is a great example of a large-scale, transboundary conservation practice promoting ecosystem connectivity that perfectly exemplifies the Nature Needs Half approach to conservation. Please check out The WILD Foundation’s blog post for more information about the great news regarding Flathead...
Wild Oceans!

Wild Oceans!

By: Vance G. Martin The great Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica is one of the planet’s most important marine habitats, upon which many of the other oceans,  seas and marine wildlife depend.  In October 2011, the Antarctic Ocean Alliance (AOA) called for the creation of a network of marine protected areas and no-take marine reserves in 19 specific areas.  A keystone in this plan is their proposal to designate the Ross Sea, the huge horseshoe shaped area south of New Zealand and surrounded on three sides by Antarctica, as a 3.6 million sq kilometer protected marine reserve.  This is an unprecedented opportunity to establish the world’s largest network of marine protected areas and no-take marine reserves.  Sylvia (Earle) is one of the real movers in this Alliance and on this initiative, along with Edward Norton and Richard Branson.  This is Nature Needs Half in action and everyone can help!  AOA has created a “Join the Watch” campaign, and you can sign on now, download the report and see a great video here. Speaking of marine, have you heard what Sylvia Earle says about Nature Needs Half? >Antarctic Ocean Alliance Launch Press...
Australia Continental Corridors Plan

Australia Continental Corridors Plan

By: Vance G. Martin The first continental scale plan for ecological corridors has been produced in Australia, and is now out for comment. Members of The World Commission on Protected Areas of the IUCN were the driving force. Our colleagues at the Mountain Biome Working Group of WCPA have made further information available. Here is a brief overview from Penny Figgis, Regional CoChair of WCPA: The WCPA network played a major role over the last 6 years in championing the connectivity concept through submissions, letters, personal representations and being centrally involved in key meetings, such as the two Linking Landscapes Forums, and the drafting of major documents such as the Kingscliffe Communique. Individually, many members have been the pioneers, scientists, policy experts and overall champions of the concept of integrated landscape approaches as a whole and of particular initiatives. (Many people over) many years of outstanding work brought us to this point of major national policy endorsement. The draft report to the Australian Government Minister for the Environment, The Hon Tony Burke MP, was prepared by the National Wildlife Corridors Advisory Group, a Group which was chaired by the Hon Bob Debus AM and supported by other WCPA members including Vice Chair for Mountains and Connectivity Graeme Worboys and Prof. Brendan Mackey. This is the first whole-of-continent approach to connectivity conservation for the world and recognises a range of different corridors at different scales , including, importantly, a few select and strategic (yet to be designated) National Wildlife Corridors. The draft report also advises that new Legislation is proposed to be introduced later this year to formalise the implementation...
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