Il recupero dello storione cobice in Italia - ACTION PLAN -Progetto Life 04NAT/IT/000126 "Conservation and Breeding of Italian Cobice Endemic Sturgeon".

160 Seiten. DOI: 10.13140/2.1.1085.7286.


In the Italian waters there were historicaly three species of sturgeon: Huso huso (Beluga sturgeon), Acipenser sturio (common sturgeon) and Acipenser naccarii (Cobice sturgeon). The first two species are considered as locally extinct, while the Cobice sturgeon is still signalled, even if seldom. There is moreover a population of this species banished to the fresh waters of the Tessin river, an affluent of the Po river, due to the building of the barrage of Serafini Island on the Po river. The main reason that brought the Cobice sturgeon to the danger of extinction is the eccessive fishing pression. Just in recent times legislation protected all three species, completely forbidding their fishing. Different factors contributed to the decline of population, among them the interruption of the fluvial continuity which, preventing the going back up of some intervals of rivers reduced the number of reproductive sites. The biological cycle of the Cobice sturgeon is very long, male specimens reach sexual maturity at 7-11 years of age, with a total length of at least 80 cm, and female specimens at 12-14 years of age, with a length of at least 1 m. The Cobice sturgeon has been object of numerous studies and projects, both of research and conservative. During the years, single Administrations on the whole territory, in particular in Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna, have been engaged in local conservation interventions, even with repopulation programs. The population restricted to fresh waters of Tessin has then been object of a specific conservation program guided by the Lombardy Park of the Tessin Valley and co-financed by the European Community through the project LIFE03NAT/IT/000113. Only with the project LIFE04NAT/IT/000126 a common and coordinated commitment on a big area has been started, almost the areale of distribution of the species. This project that lasted three years involved Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna. The involvement of regional Bodies, Parks and Province Authorities of three regions has represented a successful prerequisite, as the Cobice sturgeon moves and migrates on a big area, not belongig to a unique jurisdition. The project realization was possible thanks to three solid fundamentals: the experience of the Public Authorities, the availability of a stock of Cobice sturgeon, the gained and consolidated technology for its reproduction and breeding. The stock specimens were captured in the 1970s in the same project area and since then maintained in captivity. This stock and its descendants built the only and fundamental tank for the species rescue. All specimens now kept ex-situ, both by public authorities and private citizens, come from that original centre, whose specimens, still living, are bred and belong to the Azienda VIP of Orzinuovi in Lombardy, breeding site with CITES authorization. The technology for the reproduction and breeding in all life stages of the Cobice sturgeon was worked out in the same facility that was the first to realize the bloodless reproduction of A. naccarii in the 1980s. Afterwards, thanks to the LIFE project, artificial reproduction was carried out also at the public centre of Quinto di Treviso, in Veneto. Thanks to the project LIFE04NAT/IT/000126 the genetic characterization of a part of the specimens kept ex-situ has been carried out and a crioconservation technique of the seed of the Cobice sturgeon has been worked out realizing the germoplasm bank. Thanks to the reproductions of the two breeding centres, an important repopulation effort has been performed. Seeding of 66,038 Cobice sturgeon specimens has been carried out: 17,038 of them had an average length of 50 cm and an average weight of 900 gram, the remaining 49,000 specimens were put at the post-larva stage. The post-larva seeding has been performed according to a successful reproduction of the two centres, so that it goes beyond the plant potentiality to wean a so high number of alevins. For this reason the choice was to release the specimens at this life stage. Before carrying out the repopulation program, the watercourses have been studied in detail, showing important features of the habitat for the Cobice sturgeon, as for example substratum granulometry, stream velocity and bathymetry. Particular attention has been drawn to the presence of holes. In the three regions involved in the project, following rivers have been studied: Po, Adda, Oglio, Mincio, Adige, Bacchiglione, Brenta, Sile, Piave, Livenza, Lemene, Tagliamento. For the evaluation of the repopulation program both campaigns of direct sampling with nets and electrofishing and monitoring campaigns through a national networtk that have involved fishermen for leisure, professional fishermen, volunteers and the staff of the security service of the different Bodies have been carried out. The monitoring network was previously organised, with informative meetings and distribution of materials. Thanks to this organisation, in case a sturgeon was accidentally captured, it was possible to signal it calling the nearest referring centre. As soon as the nearest surveyor received the call, he immediately went to the capture place to verify, with an adequate reader, the presence of microchip and to survey the biometric measures. If no microchip was present, a fin fragment of around 1 cm2 was taken for genetic tagging. The genetic tagging, thanks to the results of the genetic characterization analysis, made it possible to recognise the specimens analysed as descendants of the stocks kept in captivity (F0), deriving then from previous repopulation programs, or as wild. Out of 38 analysed animals, 23 have resulted not assignable to the F0. The organization of the monitoring network had also the aim of awakening the fishermen, but dissemination of the project was spread also among schools, carrying out a specific program of environmental education in which around 500 school groups corresponding to the total involvement of around 10,000 students have been met. The results of the repopulation and of the monitorings carried out both directly and through the survey network have been organized in a Geographical Information system (GIS). The GIS was developed on a geo-database with a geographical reference of the seeding points and the points of capture, to which following information has been added: information of the single specimens sown or captured, as the microchip number, length, weight, genetics of origin, date and place of seeding/capture, etc. These tables were linked with the points with a geographical reference and among them, in order to access all available information through GIS for each of the thousands of specimens having a microchip. This Action Plan for the Cobice sturgeon is the result of the same project but it also considered the Action Plan produced by the Tessin Park for the repopulation at the moment banished to the fresh waters of that river. The action plan was performed on the model of the management Plan and is therefore structured in four sections: knowledge framework; evaluation of the ecologic needs; aims; management strategy. Thanks to this structure one clear general goal was set: the conservation of the A. Naccarii in a satisfying state, as defined by the Habitat Directive. To this follow 14 detailed aims that are functional to the general aim: giving the Sile river the fluvial continuity back; monitoring on some rivers of the dangerous structures for the species; facilitation to the overcoming of barrages; conservation of the habitats where the Cobice sturgeon lives; reduction of the competition with the silurus; reduction of the poaching; awakening of the population to the topic of the conservation; awakening of the authorities; progressive increase of the natural population; ex-situ stock conservation; increase of the genetic diversity of the natural population; increase of the knowledge about the bio-ecology; promotion of a regional, provincial and sector planning and programming system; conservation of the species in the Ticino River. The management stategy analysed moreover the value of the Action Plan, integrating it in the regulations, as the areale of the Cobice sturgeon covers three different regions and it is not restricted to the sites of Rete Natura 2000. Periodical deadlines for the review of the Action Plan have been furthermore set, having the aim of adjusting it to the development of the conservation status of the natural population. Depending on such periodical reviews, some detailed aims have been selected: they cannot be faced in the first deadline, but it will be certainly necessary to consider them in the following reviews. In order to clearly identify how to reach those goals, the management activities were outlined and organized according to the types selected in the “Manual for the management of the Nature Sites 2000” of the Italian Ministry for the Environment: active intervention (IA); regulations (RE); monitoring and/or research programs (MR); didactic programs (PD). Each goal goes back to a structured table with the following items: Goal; Activity description; Implementation timetable; Indicators and parameters; Priorities; Expected results; Costs estimate; Potential programmatic references and financial funds; Person in charge of the implementation.


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Managing Polyploidy in Ex Situ Conservation Genetics: The Case of the Critically Endangered Adriatic Sturgeon (Acipenser naccarii).

PLoS One. 2011; 6(3): e18249. Published online 2011 Mar 29. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0018249


While the current expansion of conservation genetics enables to address more efficiently the management of threatened species, alternative methods for genetic relatedness data analysis in polyploid species are necessary. Within this framework, we present a standardized and simple protocol specifically designed for polyploid species that can facilitate management of genetic diversity, as exemplified by the ex situ conservation program for the tetraploid Adriatic sturgeon Acipenser naccarii. A critically endangered endemic species of the Adriatic Sea tributaries, its persistence is strictly linked to the ex situ conservation of a single captive broodstock currently decimated to about 25 individuals, which represents the last remaining population of Adriatic sturgeon of certain wild origin. The genetic variability of three F1 broodstocks available as future breeders was estimated based on mitochondrial and microsatellite information and compared with the variability of the parental generation. Genetic data showed that the F1 stocks have only retained part of the genetic variation present in the original stock due to the few parent pairs used as founders. This prompts for the urgent improvement of the current F1 stocks by incorporating new founders that better represent the genetic diversity available. Following parental allocation based on band sharing values, we set up a user-friendly tool for selection of candidate breeders according to relatedness between all possible parent-pairs that secures the use of non-related individuals. The approach developed here could also be applied to other endangered tetraploid sturgeon species overexploited for caviar production, particularly in regions lacking proper infrastructure and/or expertise.


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Freitag, 12 Juni 2020 08:28


Status of the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) in Switzerland.

Journal of Mountain Ecology, 13 (2020): 23–30.


Between the late 19th and early 20th century, the Eurasian otter had been persecuted in Switzerland as a nuisance animal. Federal funding was provided in order to eradicate the species. Additionally, habitat alterations and environmental pollutants played an important role in the decline of the species throughout the 20th century. The last signs of otter pres-ence  were  found  in  1989,  after  which  Switzerland  was  devoid  of  wild  otters  until  2009 when an otter was detected by an automatic camera in a fish pass. Since then, several indi-viduals have been observed in different regions of Switzerland. In two areas, otters have already  reproduced  successfully.  The  federal  office  for  nature  protection  has  launched  a national  working  group  to  coordinate  ongoing  initiatives  concerning  otters  between different stakeholders.


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Samstag, 11 April 2020 13:13


Grundlagen zum Wisent in der Schweiz.

157 Seiten, 32 Abbildungen, 16 Tabellen.
Dokumentation erstellt im Auftrag von Pro Natura BernAugust 2008© Pro Natura Bern, Schwarzenburgstr. 11, 3007 Bern.

Die Dokumentation umfasst folgende Kapitel:



Freigegeben in K
Samstag, 29 Februar 2020 12:08

ROBIN, K. & ALLGÖWER, B. (2018)

Wolf - Eine Annäherung.

84 Seiten, reich farbig illustriert.
Veröffentlichungen aus dem Natur-Museum Luzern Nr. 17.
ISBN 978-3-033-06988-6.

Volltext (PDF)


Der Wildtierbiologe und ehemalige Nationalparkdirektor Klaus Robin aus Uznach hat zusammen mit Britta Allgöwer vom Natur-Museum Luzern eine Bilddokumentation erstellt, die einen umfassenden Einblick in die hochentwickelten sozialen Verhaltensmuster der Wölfe innerhalb des Rudelverbands ermöglicht. Die Fotos und Zeichnungen sind mit kurzen Texten erläutert.

Klaus Robin interessiert sich seit Jahrzehnten für Wölfe. Mit viel Geduld dokumentiert er das faszinierende und versteckte Leben des Grossraubtiers und ermöglicht in dieser Ausstellung einmalige und berührende Einblicke in das Verhalten und den Alltag des Wolfs. Geleitet von Wissbegierde und Ausdauer hinterfragt Klaus Robin die menschliche Wahrnehmung der Natur, und damit auch des Wolfs, in der Vergangenheit und heute.


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Mittwoch, 22 Mai 2019 15:03

RUMER, B. (2016)

Zoo Heidelberg praktiziert Artenschutz.

Eliomys 2016/3: 17-18.


Eines der beiden letzten Feldhamstervorkommen in Baden-Württemberg befindet sich am Rand von Mannheim. Da der Bestand rückgängig war, wurde ein Bestandsstützungsprojekt initiiert. Der Heidelberger Zoo beteiligt sich daran, indem er eine Hamster-Zuchtstation gebaut hat und jährlich Tiere an des Projekt abgibt.


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Sonntag, 24 Februar 2019 17:45

BLOMQVIST, L. (2017)

Reindeer Recovery.

Zooquaria 96: 20-21.

Recovery Plan:

To counteract the ongoing population decline, reintroductions will be undertaken in two Finnish Natura 2000 areas in western Finland, south of the current distribution range. The reintroductions form part of a larger, seven-year EU LIFE project on forest reindeer population management. Fifteen-hectare acclimatisation enclosures will be built in both areas to house 10 to 15 animals each. Reindeer from four participating EAZA zoos will be mixed with wild individuals captured by staff from the Natural Resources Institute Finland. Calves bred in the enclosures will then be soft-released when they are between 18 months and two years old.



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Stepping-stones and dispersal flow: establishment of a meta-population of Milu (Elaphurus davidianus) through natural re-wilding.

Sci Rep. 2016; 6: 27297.
Published online 2016 Jun 7. doi: 10.1038/srep27297. PMCID: PMC4895148. PMID: 27272326


The Milu (Père David’s deer, Elaphurus davidianus) became extinct in China in the early 20th century but was reintroduced to the country. The reintroduced Milu escaped from a nature reserve and dispersed to the south of the Yangtze River. We monitored these accidentally escaped Milu from 1995 to 2012. The escaped Milu searched for vacant habitat patches as “stepping stones” and established refuge populations. We recorded 122 dispersal events of the escaped Milu. Most dispersal events occurred in 1998, 2003, 2006 and 2010. Milu normally disperse in March, July and November. Average dispersal distance was 14.08 ± 9.03 km, with 91.41% shorter than 25 km. After 5 generations, by the end of 2012, 300 wild Milu were scattered in refuge populations in the eastern and southern edges of the Dongting Lake. We suggest that population density is the ultimate cause for Milu dispersal, whereas floods and human disturbance are proximate causes. The case of the Milu shows that accidentally escaped animals can establish viable populations; however, the dispersed animals were subject to chance in finding “stepping stones”. The re-wilded Milu persist as a meta-population with sub-populations linked by dispersals through marginal habitats in an anthropogenic landscape.


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Dienstag, 08 Mai 2018 20:47

GRAF, R. & BITTERLIN, L. (2015)

Alpenkrähe in den Ostalpen - Vorstudie im Hinblick auf ein Artenförderprojekt.

MONTICOLA 107: 5-36.


Die Alpenkrähe (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) ist ein felsenbrütender Standvogel, der schneearme Gebirgslagen besiedelt und seine Insektennahrung am  bzw. im Boden in offenen Lebensräumen mit kurzer Vegetation findet. Im 20. Jahrhundert ist sie in Europa lokal selten geworden oder ganz verschwunden und gilt somit als verletzlich. In der Schweiz ist die Verbreitung auf eine Restpopulation im Wallis geschrumpft und die Alpenkrähe wird als stark gefährdet eingestuft. Von der Landschaftsveränderung bis zur direkten Verfolgung werden verschiedene Rückgangsursachen genannt, aber die Gründe für das Verschwinden der Alpenkrähe aus den Ostalpen sind nicht restlos geklärt. Vor diesem Hintergrund hat der Verein Monticola zusammen mit dem Natur- und Tierpark Goldau, dem Alpenzoo Innsbruck und dem Tierpark Dählhölzli ein Förderprojekt der Alpenkrähe mit allfälliger Wiederansiedlung in den Ostalpen lanciert. Diese Vorstudie verfolgt das Ziel, eine Auslegeordnung für das Förderprojekt zu erarbeiten und weiteren Klärungs- und Forschungsbedarf auszuweisen 



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Montag, 05 Dezember 2016 10:23

Giraffenschutz in Uganda

Schutz der Rothschildgiraffe im Kidepo Nationalpark

Zoo und Zoostiftung Berlin

AFR 2016 4 rothschild kidepo
Rothschildgiraffen im Kidepo Nationalpark © Care for Karamoja
Die bedrohte Rothschildgiraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi) ist natürlicherweise weltweit nur noch in zwei Verbreitungsgebieten zu finden: Im Murchison Falls Nationalpark sowie im Kidepo Valley Nationalpark (beide Uganda). Während die mit etwa 1.000 Tieren deutlich größere Population im Murchison Falls Nationalpark teils von einer bislang nicht genauer untersuchten Hautkrankheit befallen ist, ist die Population im Kidepo Nationalpark unbelastet und daher von besonderer Wichtigkeit. Das Projekt „Care for Karamoja“, das vom Zoo Santa Barbara (USA) ins Leben gerufen wurde, hat es sich zur Aufgabe gemacht, diese sehr kleine Population von ca. 54 Tieren zu schützen.

Da der Kidepo-Nationalpark im Norden an den politisch extrem instabilen und von Armut gekennzeichneten Südsudan grenzt ist der Hauptbedrohungsfaktor für diese kleine Population die illegale Jagd für die Gewinnung von Fleisch und Fellen. Außerhalb des Parks gibt es wegen der dichten Besiedlung und intensiven Landnutzung keine Giraffen - und kaum anderes Großwild - mehr. Daher wurde mit der Uganda Wildlife Authority sowie dem Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) ein Schutzprogramm erarbeitet. Dies beinhaltet in erster Linie die Unterstützung der Ranger im Kidepo NP, die dringend mit professionellem Equipment ausgestattet werden müssen. Weiterhin soll die lokale Bevölkerung langfristig für den Artenschutz sensibilisiert werden, indem u.a. lokalen Schulklassen der Besuch des Nationalparks ermöglicht wird. Der Zoo Berlin hält Rothschildgiraffen und unterstützt als größter europäischer Partner dieses Schutzprojekt, zu dem auch Zoos in den USA beitragen.

Literatur und Internetquellen:

Tierart-Datenblatt: Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis)

Lebensraum: Ostafrikanische Savanne

Zurück zu Übersicht Paarzeher

Zurück zu Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis)

Weiter zu Gabelbock (Antilocapra americana)

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© Peter Dollinger, Zoo Office Bern hyperworx