Ten challenges for 2010 and beyond to conserve Lepidoptera in Europe
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- Warren, M.S. & Bourn, N.A.D. J Insect Conserv (2011) 15: 321. doi:10.1007/s10841-010-9356-5
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Butterflies and moths have undergone a serious decline in most European countries following rapid changes in land use in recent decades. The main drivers of loss have been agricultural and forestry intensification, abandonment of marginal land (especially in mountainous regions), loss of traditional management of grasslands and woodlands, and urban spread. Over the same period the science and practice of Lepidoptera conservation has developed considerably and concerted action to save biodiversity has been taken in many countries, with vast areas designated as nature reserves or national parks. Despite this effort, Lepidoptera are still declining at an alarming rate and it is clear that the 2010 target of halting biodiversity loss will not be met. We suggest ten challenges that conservationists in Europe need to address if we are to be successful in halting these losses over coming decades. In this continent, Lepidoptera and their habitats often rely on traditional farming and forestry systems. How can these be brought together in harmony to create a healthier environment in which both humans and wildlife can thrive? The ten challenges include reform of agricultural support, identifying and supporting beneficial forestry systems, managing the matrix between habitats, managing habitats on a landscape scale, mitigating for climate change, creating a robust planning system that protects key sites, developing a comprehensive monitoring programme for Europe, securing long term funding for nature conservation, and ensuring both political and public support.