Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats - Standing Committee

Recommendation No. 13 (1988) of the standing committee concerning measures for the protection of critical biotopes of endangered amphibians and reptiles (Adopted by the Standing Committee on 9 December 1988)

The Standing Committee of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, acting under the terms of Article 14 of the convention,

Having regard to the aims of the convention to conserve wild flora and fauna and their natural habitats;

Having regard to Resolution (78) 22 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on threatened amphibians and reptiles in Europe;

Having regard to Recommendations N°s 7, 8 and 9 (1987) of the Standing Committee concerning the protection of marine turtles and their habitat;

Recalling that Article 3 provides that each Contracting Party shall take the necessary steps to promote national policies for the conservation of wild flora, wild fauna and natural habitats, with particular attention to endangered and vulnerable species, especially endemic ones, and endangered habitats;

Recalling that Article 4, paragraph 1, provides that each Contracting Party shall take appropriate and necessary legislative and administrative measures to ensure the conservation of the habitats of the wild flora and fauna species, especially those specified in Appendices I and II, and the conservation of endangered natural habitats;

Referring to the report of the European Herpetological Society on critical biotopes of endangered amphibians and reptiles,

A. Recommends that relevant Contracting Parties take the following urgent measures;

1. ensure appropriate management of meadows at Moosbrunn and Neudegg (Austria) by reducing mowing to one cut in the late autumn, and survey these areas and the western part of Zitzmannsdorfer Wiesen (Austria) so that these critical biotopes for Vipera ursinii rakosiensis may maintain the species;

2. pursue as far as possible the appropriate protection of the critical habitat of Vipera lebetina in West Milos (Greece) and strengthen controls against the collection for trade of this species and of Podarcis milensis;

3. pursue the appropriate protection of critical wooded areas in Evros (Greece), inter alia by examining the impact of the development activities undertaken in the area;

4. manage the biogenetic reserve of Bosco della Fontana (Italy), including annual pumping of water into the woodland, together with the provision of pools, so as to conserve this mort important Rana latastei breeding population and to reverse its present decline at this unique site;

5. enforce protection measures in critical areas of the Gulf of Orosei (Italy), taking into consideration the fact that this important biotope is severely threatened unless present projects of touristic development and new harbour constructions near Caletta di Osalla and Orosei are stopped ; the new access tracks closed ; and hunting, grazing, and wood exploitation adequately regulated ; so as to permit the survival of the exceptionally high number of nineteen species of amphibians and reptiles recorded in this area;

B. Recommends moreover that relevant Contracting Parties undertake the following action:

1. give, by use of the legal instruments of regional authorities in habitat protection, adequate protection to sites in Friuli-Venezia Giulia (Italy) containing Proteus anguinus, by declaring the relevant caves as reserves and ensuring the integrity of their water systems;

2. protect the most important sites for Bombina bombina at Storebaelt, southern Sjaelland and the archipelago south of Fyon (Denmark), and in Pevestorfer Elvwiesen (Federal Republic of Germany);

3. ensure, by the most appropriate means, protection of the habitat of Alytes muletensis in Sierra de Tramuntana in Majorca (Spain), and ensure the integrity of the water catchment area of the mountain streams in which this endangered species lives;

4. extend the protection of Parco del Ticino (Italy) to include adjacent breeding sites of Pelobates fuscus insubricus;

5. designate the protected area of Le Bine (Italy) as a biogenetic reserve and extend it to include the critical biotope of the largest surviving population of the threatened species Rana latastei;

6. ensure, by the most appropriate means, protection of the habitat of Podarcis hispanica atrata in the Columbretes islands (Spain);

7. ensure, by the most appropriate means, protection of the habitat of the rare or endangered populations of Podarcis lilfordi subspecies in the Cabrera archipelago, the small islands of Aire and Colomar and those close to Minorca and Majorca (Spain);

8. ensure, by the most appropriate means, protection of the different habitats of threatened subspecies of Podarcis pityusensis in the small islands of Bledas, Espartas, Vedras, Margaalida, Es Freus, Murada, Conillera and Cana, offshore of Ibiza and Formentera (Spain);

9. continue the captive breeding programme of Gallotia simonyi in Hierro (Spain) ; ensure protection, by the most appropriate means, of its only known habitat by preventing the grazing of goats and predation by cats ; consider the possibility of this species being reintroduced in other properly managed areas;

10. safeguard the habitat of Vipera ursinii ursinii in relevant parts of Gran Sasso (Italy) by adequate measures against recreation pressures, and control grazing so that juniper is protected;

11. Calls the attention of France to the need for ensuring, by the most appropriate means, protection of the biotopes of the two most outstanding populations of Vipera ursinii ursinii in France.