A “Noah’s Ark” of endangered species will be created in Europe

2010 - 11 - 11

The European Wildlife conservation organization started work on its key project today. It established the European Centre of Biodiversity, which should act as a “Noah’s Ark” of endangered species of plants and animals in Europe.

The European Centre of Biodiversity will primarily be an extensive non-government nature reservation, which should provide a habitat for a large number of endangered species. “Protecting animals in their natural environment is the most effective method of preserving them for future generations,” says Dalibor Dostal the director of the European Wildlife conservation organisation.

As well as the reservation itself, a gene databank of native European plants and animals will also become a part of the ECOB in the future. The third aspect of support of the ECOB will be genetic research into animals, which have become extinct in Europe in past centuries, particularly the Aurochs and the wild horse. It is the absence of large herbivores that now leads to decreased biological variety in a number of areas in Europe, whether this concerns endangered plants, butterflies or other species.

“Our priority during the oncoming years will be to create a sufficiently large reservation that will help protect species that are now endangered in Europe,” stated Dalibor Dostal. The reservation will not be made up of one continuous area, but a network of smaller protected areas, complemented by existing national parks and reservations and it will be situated in the area of Central Europe. “When we look at areas with the best biodiversity we find that they are situated in the north, east and south of the continent. Consequently, restoration of biodiversity in Central Europe is important in connecting all these isolated populations in the peripheral areas of Europe and restoration of biodiversity in western Europe in the following years,” the director of the European Wildlife conservation organisation added.

The European Centre of Biodiversity will be based on the purchase of land which farmers have ceased cultivating in recent years because it was no longer economically sustainable. In some areas commercial forests will also be purchased and transformed into forest growth made up of a large variety of native species. The project should also be significantly supported by the European Union’s new plan to halt the decrease in biological diversity on the continent by 2020.

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