|Town/Region||Đerdap National Park|
|Date||18 Apr 2017|
Nature conservation is essential everywhere on the planet and is one of the burning issues in modern biology. Ground beetles are very important insects in terms of ecology and the environment’s economy. The Đerdap National Park is the largest and one of the most valuable natural heritage areas in Serbia. Despite this fact, no systematic integrative investigation of its ground beetles has ever been carried out. The park’s plants and vertebrates are well-documented, but knowledge about its insects is scanty (they have been the subject of only two recent studies, on longhorn beetles and on butterflies). The biota known to inhabit the park includes a number of endemic and relict forms and even certain sub-Mediterranean and Mediterranean plant species. This gives us a right to expect there an equally rich and interesting entomofauna worth protecting. The Balkan Peninsula is above all interesting as one of Europe’s main biodiversity hotspots – a refugial area with a considerable percentage of endemic taxa. For this reason, there is a great need to explore the Balkan fauna of carabids and protect all rare species. We will assess threatening factors in the National Park and their effects on carabid assemblages.
The objectives of the work are as follows:
- to create a check-list of ground beetle taxa inhabiting the Đerdap National Park;
- to obtain additional data on the biology and ecology (abundance, sex structure, intraspecific variability, habitats, seasonal activities, possible abnormalities) of the park’s carabids;
- to remove some taxa in the Serbian entomofauna from the "data deficient" (DD) category and propose a new list of candidate taxa potentially worthy of protection from among the country’s epigean, endogean and troglobitic carabids;
- to examine possible habitat-disrupting circumstances in the national park and propose ways to overcome them in order to protect potentially endangered ground beetle populations;
- to stimulate the scientific enthusiasm of biologists for nature conservation and emphasise the urgent need for it to a wider audience by organising lectures and giving promotional material to citizens;
- to present our results and then prepare them to be published.
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