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Specific implementationaspects Other species likely to benefit from include the lesser horseshoe bat Rhinolophus hipposideros and natterjack toad Bufo calamita. Figure 4 — Spread of the migrant hawker dragonfly across Ireland. However, there are still no fully satisfactory models showing how climate change will impact on Irish biodiversity, given the complex range of habitats, geomorphology and the uncertainty over changes that will occur in the oceanic currents that drive the Irish climate.
Conservation measures. Biodiversity areas are protected by several designations, primarily Special Areas of Conservation sites , Special Protection Areas sites and Natural Heritage Areas sites designated; sites under consideration. State owned lands are designated as National Parks 6 sites and Nature Reserves 78 sites.
Conservation management plans are in preparation for designated areas. In addition, agri-environmental schemes and Native woodland schemes have been available for land managers to sign up to. An active programme of bog acquisition is underway, with the ultimate aim of reducing or eliminating turf-cutting, and expanding the programme of bog restoration.
The lack of an organised framework for the management of biodiversity data in Ireland, has been a key bottleneck for conservation programmes. However, a National Biodiversity Data Centre is now in place since and acts as a central repository for handling biodiversity, and other relevant, data from a large number of sources and stakeholders e. Government departments and agencies; NGOs, private collectors.
The Data Centre is working to provide checklists for all species groups in Ireland, as well as compiling inventory data about their distributions and habitats. This improved access to biodiversity data will ensure that future policies and decision makers, that impact on biodiversity, have access to the best available information. A red listing programme aims to assess the conservation status, using IUCN categories and criteria, for Irish species, particularly for those groups that are currently under-represented on the national legislation or EU Directives.
The islands of Ireland. Ireland has over offshore islands, with the majority located on the western atlantic seaboard. The offshore islands have their own unique environments. A number of island specific biodiversity conservation projects are underway:. More than 5. Various factors have contributed to the flora biodiversity of the Mediterranean islands: the paleogeography some of them have been isolated for long time , the distance from the continent, the size inclusive among few square meters up to The widest islands represent important shelters, specifically for some species originated in the Tertiary that survived to the invasion of plants produced by the climatic changes of the Pleistocene era.
The local flora, despite has been impoverished in some measure by the long period of isolation, is increased because of the phenomena of species origin. Besides, different new species have been introduced. Endemic Species. The elevated number of species that compose the Italian avifauna demonstrates both the variety of habitat due to the north-south development of the peninsula and the strategic position that makes the Italian peninsula a natural bridge on the Mediterranean, frequented by the migrants in their moves among the districts of the north Europe and the Africa.
However, the origin of the fauna populations and the levels of endemism of the different Mediterranean islands are almost never of easy interpretation, since different factors can play an important role. Although the principal characteristics of the Mediterranean climate have been established around five million years ago, very marked climatic variations happened in the Pleistocene, decidedly contributing to the characterization of the Mediterranean biodiversity. During the inter-glacial era the sea water submerged the least elevated islands, determining the loss of endemic species;.
As a consequence of the immersion during the Calabrian period, today some Italian islands Volcano, Stromboli, Lampedusa, Zannone, Linosa have a lower number of species that others Pantelleria, Favignana, Ponza, Marettimo, Levanzo. As regarding to endemic insular species , numerous examples can be reported in Italy:. As regarding to the invertebrates of the circumsardinian islands, an Acridological investigation has been carried out Baccetti et al.
In the taxonomical part of the work, 5 new species have been described, endemic to one or more small islands: Ectobius sardous Bacc. Other species have been for the first time quoted in Sardinia, or in Italy; new synonyms and a new specific name Ctenodecticus harzi Bacc. The species is found in woodland at low and medium altitudes. Roosts in caves, mines and buildings. There are no data about migrations, diet, reproductive behaviour, but the latter is presumably similar to the that of common long-eared bats.
The Corsican red deer Cervus elaphus corsicanus is an endemic species typical of the two islands Sardinia and Corse, once diffused in the whole island, now founded only in Sulcis, Sarrabus and Arburese forests. Recently it has been r-introduced in the Ogliastra area. Finally, the Mediterranean monk seal Monachus monachus represented, up to the nineties, a symbol of the wild fauna of the island; by now extinct because of the direct persecutionand habitat loss. On the Tavolara Island, the last documented reproduction goes up again to , while in there were some sightings to Cala Gonone.
Many sightings have also been made to the Asinara Island, where the feasibility of a re-introduction is evaluated. Among the reptiles, the Sicilian Lizard Podarcis wagleriana Gistel, , Natrix natrix sicula Cuvier, are endemic species of the island, while Discoglossus pictus pictus Otth, is distributed also in Maghreb Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia , Malta, while small populations, probably introduced have been established in the south of Spain and France.
The reptile Podarcis raffonei Mertens, and the mammal Eliomys quercinusliparensis Kahmamm, are endemic species of Eolie Islands. Crocidura russula cossyrensis Contoli, is endemic of Pantelleria, while Crocidura sicula is endemic of the Sicilian-Maltese archipelago, but to date could be extinct to Malta Mitchell-Jones et al. Lampedusa lopadusae Calcara is an endemic gastropod distributed only on the Lampione and Lampedusa islands. Among the vertebrates, some North African species as the lizard Psammodromus algirus abound.
This species it is curiously located only in the microscopic island of the Rabbits, behind Lampedusa. Two other species, Malpolon monspessulanus insignitus and Macroprotodon cuccullatus , are present only here in Italian territory and, instead, relatively common in the North Africa.
In this area the most representative endemism is the gastropods Oxychilus pilula , Tacheocampylaea tacheoides of Capraia Island and Oxychilus gorgonianus of Gorgona Island. Among the reptiles, endemic species present are Phyllodactylus europaeus , the lizard Podarcis muralis colosii , the Vipera aspis francisciredi on the Elba Island , the lizards Podarcis muralis insulanica and Podarcis muralis muellerlorenzi to Pianosa Island, and Vipera aspis montecristi to Montecristo island. Among the amphibian the tree frog tirrenica Sardinian Hyla , and Discoglossus sardus are recorded.
On the Elba Island some endemic species of the Amphipoda has been recovered, as the Ilvanella inexpectata, a Shellfish around 8 millimetres of lengths, or Metacrangonyx ilvanus , the only Italian representative of this family, endemic on the Elba island. Among the Carabids, two endemic species must be remembered: Typhloreicheia ilvensis and the rare Typhloreicheia maginii. The impact of human activities on the coasts and Islands of the Mediterranean sea, characterized by the exponential demographic and productive increase happened in the last century, brought to a progressive diminution of the biological diversity.
The principal threats for species, habitat and whole ecosystems are the effect of the impact of the human activities such as: urbanization, the intensive use in agriculture of fertilizers rich in nitrogen and phosphorus and the consequent eutrophycation of the waters, the pollution caused by the waters of unloading containing heavy metals, the increasing tourist expansion, the hydrocarbons outflows, the introduction of alien invasive species, the overfishing.
Invasive Alien Species. Invasive Alien Species are the greatest threat to island biodiversity and invasive rodents are likely responsible for the greatest number of extinctions and ecosystem changes. Some examples of how IAS represent a threat, for endemic insular species in Italy, are given below:. Some studies Pretto et al. Bolus, Carpobrotus edulis L. In Montecristo Island, the wild goat, Capra aegagrus hircus is causing sever problem at the ecosystem of the Island since years, as Ovis musimon , introduced to the Elba and Capraia Islands, causing more than few ecological problems.
On Mediterranean islands, the Black rat Rattus rattus is considered by far the major pest species, because of its impact especially on plant, seabird, and invertebrate communities. In the last six years eradication or local control programmes have taken place on ten Tyrrhenian islands Sposimo et al. Eradication projects were carried out in eight islands with area ranging from 0. Density of rat population was estimated on the larger island Giannutri by a removal trapping, where eradication activities are still ongoing.
When eradication was considered unfeasible or a longer time was necessary, local control was performed in order to protect nesting of colonial seabirds.
Reproductive success of colonial birds was assessed on five islands, showing the benefits deriving from both the eradication and local control of rat populations. Furthermore, lizard populations on some islands exhibited a sudden increase in density Sposimo et al. In the Tavolara Punta Coda Cavallo Marine Protected Area, as tool for conservation of nesting marine species, particularly for Puffinus yelkouan , the eradication of the Black rat Rattus rattus was completely concluded for Molara Island.
It is still ongoing, also, the monitoring of status and distribution of the Ring-necked Parakeet Psittacula krameri and the Monk Parakeet Myiopsitta monachus Mascia F. Eradication on 4 different aliens species two animals and two plants has been or have been carried out in a small islet very close to the main one Isola delle Femmine in the last six years. Studies conducted from the beginning of shows Xenopus laevis range, invasiveness and impact. The first record of Xenopus laevis in Sicily is datable to Lillo et al.
It results, in Sicily, a well adapted species to the environmental conditions, with notable invasive ability and with a negative effect on the local species of amphibians. The future efforts must have assembled, over that in the information completion on the ecological and behavioural characteristics, in seeking compensatory strategies and eradication and control methods for which notable scientific and economic resources will be necessary. In Italy, since the year , some projects, funding by the LIFE Program covering the period to , were conducted as tool for Biological Diversity management and conservation on the Islands.
The projects were focused on habitat restoration in the Islands, achieving of favourable conservation status and ensuring the continued management of the area or on species protection, targeting a very significant share of the bird species listed in Annex I of the Birds Directive.
In terms of coverage of species listed in the Annex II of the Habitats Directive about half of the animals species especially mammals have been targeted by LIFE projects, whereas the coverage for plants is lower. Italy has assumed a very active position as regards to knowledge and management of the marine and coastal zones. The possible methodological programme provides for the following phases:. The authority on the defence of marine biodiversity, protected marine species and surrounding marine environment as a whole is committed to the Ministry of Environment, Department of Sea Defence.
The current actions co-ordinated by this Department concern all the cetaceans occurring in the Italian waters, the turtles, the Posidonia prairies and the invasive alien species. The Department is also carrying out actions of monitoring of the marine and coastal environment, in agreement with 14 coastal Regions and Islands, touching approximately 6, km of coasts. Italy also takes part to the Regional Activity Centre of the Mediterranean Action Plan for the conservation of turtles, monk seals and cetaceans.
International Sanctuary of the Mediterranean Cetacean.
Dr. José Ignacio Pérez Arriaga
The Sanctuary contains suitable habitat for the breeding and feeding needs of the entire complement of cetacean species regularly found in the Mediterranean Sea; these include Balaenoptera physalus , Physeter macrocephalus , Ziphius cavirostris , Globicephala melas , Grampus griseus , Tursiops truncatus , Stenella coeruleoalba and Delphinus delphis. The remaining species, although less important numerically, are also regular components of the Sanctuary's cetacean fauna; these include deep-diving Teutophagous odontocetes such as sperm whales, long-finned pilot whales and Risso's dolphins, frequenting both offshore and slope waters, and Cuvier's beaked whales, favouring specific areas overlying submarine canyons; now rare and endangered short-beaked common dolphins, found at intervals in offshore waters, often associated with striped dolphin groups; and predominantly coastal bottlenose dolphins, frequenting mostly the shelf areas surrounding Corsica, northern Sardinia, the Tuscan Archipelago, and continental France.
The only other marine mammal found in the Mediterranean, the monk seal Monachus monachus , was extirpated from the Sanctuary area in the mid 20 th century, but could theoretically re-colonise its shores in the future if population numbers were to increase in areas where this pinniped still exists Notarbartolo di Sciara et al.
For terrestrial birds, crossing large stretches of sea implies the need for prolonged endurance flights. The Mediterranean acts as an important barrier for Palaearctic-African migrants heading north while moving towards their breeding quarters in spring Moreau , Alerstam Within the larger historical framework of migration studies in Europe, spring movements have been less intensively investigated than the autumn flyways and migratory patterns.
It has also become increasingly clear that bird populations breeding in Europe can be significantly affected by ecological factors acting on the African winter quarters. The main aims of the project are to investigate spring migration across the Mediterranean through a network of ringing stations operating together on the basis of standardised field protocols. An important aspect is also to obtain sound scientific evidence of the conservation value of Mediterranean islands and coastal habitats for staging migrants during a particularly delicate phase of their annual cycle.
This knowledge is needed in order to develop reliable policies for the conservation of migratory birds within the Mediterranean, with special reference to avian biodiversity on islands. During 22 years, a total of 48 sites in 7 different countries has been covered by over ringers, offering a good sample for the central-western Mediterranean, while more scanty information has been collected eastwards in Greece and Israel. Over , birds have been ringed and examined belonging to species, with biometrical data routinely collected together with details on their physical conditions at different stages of barrier crossing.
Species richness within the communities of staging migrants confirms the unique role of Mediterranean islands for the conservation of a wide range of species distributed all across the Western Palearctic and even further to the east. The network of Mediterranean islands and coastal sites where staging birds are monitored represents an important component of the migratory system of many species linked to largely variable habitats both on the breeding and wintering areas.
The seasonality of passage, for instance, is a species-specific feature; the different species show a strong consistency in their migration timing in spring, and the inter-annual, within-species variability in the mean date of passage is significantly lower than the variation recorded among species Rubolini et al.
The general seasonal pattern of passage of trans-Saharan migrants across the Mediterranean has been found to be influenced by factors acting on the wintering and breeding quarters. The importance of Africa is confirmed by the earlier spring movements within the Mediterranean of species wintering in more northern quarters; equally, species overcoming a complete wing moult on the wintering grounds show delayed northward movements.
As for the influence of the breeding quarters, we found that early migration is related to cavity nesting, a strategy which implies direct competition for limited nesting opportunities, hence a selective advantage for an early arrival on the breeding grounds see Rubolini et al.
The collection of biometrical data on all PPI stations allows also to infer on different populations of a same specie crossing different areas of the Mediterranean. In the case of the Garden Warbler, a progressive increase in wing length with longitude has been found Grattarola et al. This suggests similar migratory directions followed by birds heading towards the breeding areas, irrespective of the distance to be covered across the sea.
Other species show concentrated frequencies of capture along the western or eastern Mediterranean, confirming how the basin acts as a crossroad of migratory routes, which implies the need for a large-scale integrated system of protected areas for migrants Pilastro et al. A network of ringing stations also provides data on the daily distribution of catches at different stages of barrier crossing.
In this case, by considering a general S-N pattern of movements across the Central Mediterranean, has been possible to confirm a progressive movement of fronts of migration, with a delayed arrival on islands at higher latitudes, as in the Garden Warbler Grattarola et al. It is interesting to note that such daily patterns refer also to classical night migrants, suggesting that once they have embarked on sea crossing, birds perform prolonged endurance flights, given also the impossibility of stopping over when islands or coasts are not available.
Based on the same model of progressive movements across the sea, it has been found a progressive depletion of energy reserves with increased duration of flight and distance migrated, as exemplified by the Garden Warbler both for standardized body mass and fat score Grattarola et al. This suggests that in fact birds are able to cross the extended barrier represented by the Sahara and Mediterranean in spring without significantly refuelling en route; however they also need to find available habitats and resources on key staging areas like those represented by Mediterranean islands.
The network of Mediterranean islands is of crucial importance for birds regardless of physical conditions and including migrants still with very large energy reserves. Hence, the crossing of the Sahara and the Mediterranean in spring is constrained by the distribution of preferred habitats south of the Sahara i. This stresses again how important Mediterranean islands are for the conservation of large numbers of birds and species which are challenged with the crossing of a barrier which becomes increasingly wide due to the ongoing desertification of the Sahel and the progressive reduction of equatorial forests in Africa.
The intense monitoring activities carried out by the PPI has also allowed to investigate the ecological role of islands habitats for staging migrants. An interesting and original approach has been followed in analysing the strong relationship between some of the Mediterranean plants blooming in spring and the nectar uptake by migrants belonging primarily to the genus Sylvia and Phylloscopus Jenni et al.
Large numbers of birds survive their spring migration thanks to their plasticity in taking advantage of nectar offered by plants like Brassica or Ferula, again confirming the importance of Mediterranean vegetation for these birds and the positive outcome birds obtain while staging on the islands. Again this is an important component of the scientific knowledge which the PPI offers for large-scale coordinated conservation policies.
This is particularly true within the larger context of the environmental effects of global change; data collected through the PPI have shown for the first time how the earlier arrivals of migrants at northern latitudes across Europe is related to an earlier departure from latitudes south of the Sahara Jonzen et al.
A strong influence of climate in Africa in influencing the seasonal passage of migrants across the Mediterranean has also been recently shown for the first time thanks to monitoring data collected through the Progetto Piccole Isole. The project represents the largest ornithological monitoring effort ever realised within the Mediterranean, thanks also to the support offered by the General Directorate of Nature Protection of the Italian Ministry of the Environment.
Small Islands represents a precious cultural, natural, tourist and economic resource for Italy and for the whole Mediterranean. The principal aim has been to develop politics on the sustainability that faces the complex of the thematic tied up to the sea, to its use and management. It is the institutional tool to which the different actors join, both public then private.
Andreotti A. Quaderni Conservazione Natura, 2. Arnold E. Guida dei Rettili e degli Anfibi d'Europa ed. Franco Muzzio Baccetti B. Zoogeographical expeditions of the C. Linei, Atti Conv. Lincei, 85, "Biogeographical Aspects of Insularity": Bosch, J. Discoglossus pictus. IUCN Capizzi D. Debussche M. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 8 1 : Faraone F. Amphibia- Reptilia, In: Herpetologia Sardiniae. Corti C. Societas Herpetologica Italica.
Edizioni Belvedere, Latina: Feral J. Indicators of marine and coastal biodiversity of the Mediterranean sea. Tunis , april Grattarola, A. Spring migration of the Garder Warbler Sylvia borin across the Mediterranean. Grove A. An Ecological History. Jenni, L. Regulation of protein breakdown and adrenocortical response to stress in birds during migratory flights.
Regulatory Integrative Comp. Science, Lillo F. Herpetozoa, Li Vigni, F. Aspetti generali e osservazioni su una popolazione siciliana. Reptilia n. Mascia F. Mitchell-Jones A. Notarbartolo di Sciara G. The Pelagos sanctuary for Mediterranean marine mammals. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems Pretto F. Reaser J. K, Meyerson L. Environmental Conservation, 34 2 : Richardson D. Spina F. Sposimo P. I Quaderni del parco, Docum. Parco Naz. Arcipelago Toscano: 33 — Arcipelago Toscano: 16 — Amori G.
Porcellotti S. Stoch F. On-line version 2. REF code. Riqualification and restoration of the natural habitat of wetlands in Mare e Pauli e Sali Stagno di Cabras , ecological management and protection. Comune di Cabras. Restoration project for environment and habitat in the coastal zone of Trapani and Marsala - Natural Reserve of Stagnone and Saline di Trapani - Paceco. Provincia di Trapani. Proposal for the introduction of a monitoring integrated programme for environmental resources in vulnerable areas NATURA Regione Sardegna.
Comune di Cagliari.
Marta Garcia Alonso
Urgent actions for the protection of the Sardinian steppic habitats. WWF Italia. Provincia di Oristano. Capraia and other small islands of the Tuscan Archipelago : biological diversity conservation. Regione Toscana. Provincia di Nuoro. Reclamation and environmental remediation of the Capo Feto biotope. Comune di Lipari. Comune di Aglientu. Urgent conservation measures of Caretta caretta in the Pelagian Islands. Provincia di Agrigento.
Conservation of Abies nebrodensis Lojac Mattei in situ and ex situ. Parco delle Madonie. Conservation and improvement of habitats inthe SPA of Vendicari. Azienda Regionale Foreste Demaniali. Reduction of the impact of human activity on Caretta and Tursiops and their conservation in Sicily. Activities for the protection of cetaceans in the international sanctuary.
Consorzio Mediterraneo s. Preservation and extension of priority habitats damaged from agriculture activity. Tuscan Islands : new actions towards sea birds and habitat. Tuscan Archipelago. Tartanet, a network for the conservation of sea turtles in Italy. Next of institution Marine Protected Areas.
Law of reference. Maddalena Archipelago:. Sardinia , Sassari. Tuscan Archipelago:. Tuscany , Livorno, Grosseto. Eolie Islands:. Sicily ,. Liguria ,. Pontine Islands: Ponza, Palmarola, Zannone. Latium ,. Campania , Naples. Regno di Nettuno or Flegree Islands :. The sudden influx, in ecological time, of non-native species has had profound consequences for island biodiversity.
This software was written in Visual Basic, using a common database environment; it uses the SQL language to develop interrogation queries and has an easy interface with all GIS software. Most data is now available online throughout the Azorean Biodiversity Portal www.
Borges, P. A list of the terrestrial fungi, flora and fauna of Madeira and Selvagens archipelagos. A list of the terrestrial fauna Mollusca and Arthropoda and flora Bryophyta, Pteridophyta and Spermatophyta from the Azores. Both books have already become a key reference for Azorean and Madeira biodiversity research and it is an important tool for people working in the areas of taxonomy, ecology and nature conservation management;.
We are presently working on a second edition of the Azorean Book:. A list of the terrestrial fungi, flora and fauna from the Azores. All the previously existing protected areas of the Azores have been re-classified, according to the IUCN criteria.