Case study:LIFE08NAT/IT/000352 CRAINat

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Location: 41° 37' 56", 14° 19' 35"
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Project overview

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Status In progress
Project web site
Themes Habitat and biodiversity
Country Italy
Main contact forename Tommaso
Main contact surname Pagliani
Main contact user ID
Contact organisation Consorzio Mario Negri Sud
Contact organisation web site
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Parent multi-site project
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encompassing the following
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Project summary

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The project "Conservation and recovery of Austropotamobius pallipes in Italian Natura 2000 sites", whose acronym is CRAINat, was funded under the EU LIFE + 2008 program. CRAINat provides for the implementation of specific actions for the protection and conservation on the species Austropotamobius pallipes (also known with its common name of white clawed crayfish), species in a high conservation priority, included in Annexes II and V of Directive 92/43/EEC "Habitat". The project includes over 60 actions and will be carried out in the same time in two geographical areas, northern Italy (Lombardy Region) and central Italy (Abruzzo Region, Provinces of Chieti and Isernia and National Park of Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga), within more than 40 SCI. The initiative is the natural continuation of previous projects also supported by EU's LIFE program; its mean objective is the preservation / increasing of native crayfish populations through actions that will be realized in nature and actions of ex situ conservation. In fact, in addition to reconnaissance of the watercourses in the SCI of Lombardy, Abruzzo and Molise territories, activities will be carried out on genetic characterization, monitoring actions and containment of non-native species, maintenance actions, habitat restoration, as well as specific actions to spread young individuals in suitable surface water bodies in the involved SCIs.

In the Lombardia region of northern Italy, two crayfish reproductive plants were restored for breeding white-clawed crayfish. A total of 4 466 juveniles were reared in these plants and released into nine rivers. This was complemented by habitat restoration work at seven sites, and the creation of three pools suitable for the conservation of the species. Two new crayfish populations were established and three restocking activities were carried out in Lombardia, through the successful translocation of reproductive crayfish individuals.

In central Italy, three reproductive plants were restored by the project, which together produced a total of 5 276 juvenile crayfish that were released into rivers. Two source areas were created, in the Gran Sasso Monti della Laga Park and in the Sirente Velino Regional Park (Abruzzo region), where a total of 212 juvenile crayfish were released. Habitat restoration work was carried out in three areas. However, the presence of crayfish plague (Aphanomices astacii), a fungal disease, caused the deaths of many crayfish and stopped project activities in central Italy for a significant period, while the relevant authorities and stakeholders worked together to plan necessary interventions.

Funding - EU CONTRIBUTION 1,538,191.00 €

Monitoring surveys and results

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Catchment and subcatchment


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Project background

Reach length directly affected (m)
Project started 2010/01/01
Works started
Works completed
Project completed 2014/12/31
Total cost category 1000 - 5000 k€
Total cost (k€) 3086
3,086 k€
3,086,000 €
Benefit to cost ratio
Funding sources European Union

Cost for project phases

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Investigation and design
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Reasons for river restoration

Mitigation of a pressure Invasive species
Hydromorphology Continuity for organisms
Biology Invertebrates: Abundance, Invertebrates: Disturbance-sensitive species
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Structural measures
Bank/bed modifications
Floodplain / River corridor Habitat restoration, creation of pools
Planform / Channel pattern
Non-structural measures
Management interventions release of juviniles
Social measures (incl. engagement)


Hydromorphological quality elements

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Monitoring documents

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Additional links and references

Link Description proj id=3586 Life page

Supplementary Information

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