EC-SQUARE

PREPARATORY ACTIONS

Evaluation of the distribution of the grey squirrel and population size
A.1 ACTION: Determine the size of the population and the distribution of the grey squirrel in Lombardy.
A.2 ACTION: Determine the size of the population and the distribution of the grey squirrel in Piedmont.
A.3 ACTION: Determine the size of the population and the distribution of the grey squirrel in Liguria.
Purpose of the action is to have updated informations regarding size and distribution of the grey squirrel in Lombardy, Piedmont and Liguria.

Evaluation of the social perception
A.4 ACTION: Evaluation of social perception in grey squirrel presence areas.
A survey will be carried out to assess the state of knowledge on the problems of preservation of the red squirrel and the attitude towards the grey and its management.

Production of a Plan of Action and project Task Force
A.5 ACTION: Elaboration of the General Management Plan.
The development of a comprehensive action plan will define indicators, management methods, best practices relating to the management of the grey squirrel. The definition of the standard protocol will be a decision support tool, which is essential to identify the best strategies to be developed within the project and the concrete conservation actions to be implemented.

A.7 ACTION: Creation of a Task Force for the project.
For the coordination of the project EC- SQUARE a Task Force will be established, comprising a a scientific and public relations unit. The Task Force is responsible for the implementation and communication of project results.

Preliminary analysis to arrive at a trade ban for certain species of squirrels
A.6 ACTION: Grey squirrel trade ban
The project will produce specific risk analysis (Pest Risk Assessment) on the impact caused by the introduction of the grey squirrel and other species of squirrels . This analysis is preliminary to the discussion of a draft document for a ban on trade of squirrels in Italy that can be promoted and adopted by the Ministry of Environment.



CONCRETE CONSERVATION ACTIONS

Application of methods for controlling grey squirrel populations
ACTION C.1: Management Actions for grey squirrel in Lombardy.
ACTION C.2: Management Actions for grey squirrel in Piedmont.
C.3 ACTION: Shares of management for grey squirrel in Liguria.
The action plan will provide general information about the best strategy for action to be taken at each site of the presence of the grey squirrel, taking into account the characteristics of the populations, the environment and the social perception and emotional issues in each context.

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ACTION C.4: Development of guidelines for the management of forest ecosystems in favour of the red squirrel.
The project involves the development of guidelines for the increase in food availability for the red squirrel and the reduction of forest fragmentation, guidelines for the reintroduction of the red squirrel will also be produced.

ACTION C.5: Development of guidelines for the artificial feeding of red squirrels.
An experimental area will be identified in which the use of tools for artificial feeding of red squirrels will be tested.

C.6 ACTION: Developing guidelines for the management of the red squirrel in urban or suburban parks of Liguria.
The action involves the identification and analysis of the characteristics of urban or suburban parks already frequented by red squirrel and the development of guidelines to facilitate the presence and visibility of the red squirrel to the public.

COMMUNICATION ACTIONS

ACTION D.1: Definition and implementation of communication strategies
The action includes the development of a communication plan and implementation of a communication strategy through specific tools such as round tables, conferences, technical publications, mailing lists, press releases, posters, brochures and other informational materials.

ACTION D.2: Education and awareness: the role of biodiversity and native species in forest ecosystems
The action involves the creation of information products useful to disclose the topics covered by the project. In detail the project will provide:

  • a brochure to explain the problems of conservation of the red squirrel and the impacts caused by introduced species;
  • the creation of structures for the observation of red squirrels;
  • a competition for schools that represents a character inspired by the conservation of the red squirrel;
  • the realization of educational kits for schools, including educational material and a game on red squirrel conservation;
  • an environmental education project for primary and secondary schools, with classroom and field training sessions.


ACTION D.3: Creation of a project website.

ACTION D.4: production of a documentary film regarding the project activities with a focus on the problems of red squirrel conservation.

ACTION D.5: Networking with other squirrel experts and presenThe action includes participation in national and international scientific conferences, the publication of scientific papers, the meeting with international experts of squirrel conservation and other introduced species.