Special Issue "Conservation Biology, Management of Natural Resources, and Protected Areas Policies"

A special issue of Conservation (ISSN 2673-7159).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2024 | Viewed by 471

Special Issue Editors

Faculté de Gestion, Economie et Science (FGES), Université Catholique de Lille, 59800 Lille, France
Interests: plant biology; ecological, biological and chemical traits; vegetation; ecosystems analysis and dynamics; conservation; restoration ecology; land and natural resources management; traditional uses and new applications
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Marco Masseti
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Istituto Zooprofilattico della Sicilia “A. Mirri”, 90129 Palermo, Italy
2. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources Species Survival Commission, 1196 Gland, Switzerland
Interests: island biodiversity
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Florian Kletty
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
FGES, Université Catholique de Lille, F-59000 Lille, France
Interests: ecology; conservation biology; agroecology; biodiversity
Department of Agriculture and Forestry (DAFNE), Tuscia University, 01100 Viterbo, Italy
Interests: dendrology; silviculture; forest restoration

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The philosophy that led to the development of this Special Issue of Conservation is based on the growing body of knowledge and practice common to various practitioners and scientists dealing with conservation biology, the management of natural resources, and protected area policies. This SI aims to rework and improve ideas, actions, and policies about biodiversity conservation and land management in light of a continuously evolving corpus scientific knowledge in a way that enables humanity to face global changes, climate changes, and natural ecosystems loss, and to counteract biodiversity concerns stemming from human impact.

We also refer to the concept of ‘allochthonous’, ‘exotic’, ‘alien species’ and the articulation of the ‘para-autochthonous’ concept, with all the consequent possible management concepts.

It is known that certain non-native species can create problems, just as other non-native species are known for their advantages. Consequently, considering any non-native species as invasive can sometimes be an exaggeration. The consequences of this assumption, if applied to land management and biodiversity, can be very costly, harmful, and they can even surpass the deleterious effects that can be caused by non-native species.

Then, there is the problem of ‘unpleasant’ species that are often considered as negative or as alien even when they are not. On the contrary, we can observe other species that are often considered as native, even if they are not, because they are ‘pleasant’. The problem here is subjectivity: something that can be unpleasant for one observer, it can be pleasant to others, and vice-versa.

Non-native species must be viewed with a broader look, considering much more variables, with greater curiosity, with more thoughtful positions, with greater objectivity, and in a more rigorous manner. They should be contextualized case-by-case, avoiding concerning generalizations and vilifying them: looking for more efficient, durable, sustainable, serene and balanced solutions.

Reforestations should also be actively conserved, such as cultural ecosystems or as semi-natural environmental areas with ecological, landscape and cultural interest. Practices of conservation should supplant destructive ways of thinking about those plant formations. At the same time, even planting trees should not always be considered as something positive, but rather depends on the context, how it is performed and where. Just as much attention must be paid to the management of introduced species, and to the reintroduction of species.

For this reason, in Italy in Rome, on 22 May 2023, the Italian National Federation of Biologist Orders, organized a conference about the management of the Italian natural heritage during last decades. The conference was dedicated to Rachel Carson, who wrote the book "Silent Spring", pushing us to reflect on the impact of chemicals on agriculture, our development, environment problems, and the way of managing our territory.

This remains a severe problem, and it defies belief how today pesticides, herbicides and other poisons are increasingly proposed as being suitable for use in the management of natural areas. This, together with other intensive or expensive practices, could cause strong negative impacts.

In this Special Issue, we aim to collect contributions from this conference and also invite submissions from other contexts. This is carried out in order to widen the discussion on this subject, analyse different points of view with the aim of understanding weak points and the advantage of the actual ecosystem management strategies, environment policies, and to elaborate more sustainable and durable actions, pursuing reasoned approaches.

The guest editors would like to warmly thank the following expertise advisors of this Special Issue:
Prof. Dr. Rosario Fico (Società Italiana di Scienze Forensi Veterinarie)
Dr. Giuliano Russini (Federation of National Orders of Biologists)
Dr. Giorgio Boscagli (Wildlife biologist, former surveillance inspector of the Parco Nazionale d'Abruzzo, former director of the Parco Naturale Regionale del Sirente-Velino, and former director of Parco Nazionale delle Foreste Casentinesi)
Prof. Dr. Paolo Pupillo, Emeritus professor, University of Bologna (Plant physiologist and Conservationist)
Prof. Dr. Franco Pedrotti, Emeritus professor, University of Camerino (Botanist and Ecologist)
Their professionalism and support are much appreciated.

We hope to light a small spark that can stimulate other colleagues to share these concerns, contributing to the development of the science and improving biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management practices, together with the wellness of our society.

Dr. Kevin Cianfaglione
Prof. Dr. Marco Masseti
Dr. Florian Kletty
Prof. Dr. Bartolomeo Schirone
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Conservation is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • invasive species
  • biodiversity conservation
  • conservation biology
  • management of natural resources
  • protected areas policies
  • ecosystem management
  • cultural ecosystems
  • semi-natural environment
  • non-native species

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Challenges in Proving Anticoagulant Involvement in Marine Predator and Scavenger Harm

Authors: Robert Boesch, Visiting Colleague, University of Hawaii-Manoa, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, Department of Molecular Biology and Bioengineering, Honolulu, HI 96822

Author Affiliations: Retired Pesticide Regulator (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 1973-1988, Hawaii Department of Agriculture, Pesticide Program Manager 1988-2019)

Abstract: Anticoagulant rodenticides (AR's) have been used for the eradication of rats and mice on islands for more than 3 decades. Aerial broadcast of rodenticide baits containing 25 to 50 parts per million of a toxicant (usually the second generation anticoagulant brodifacoum) has been used on 70% of the area. Some areas, baits enter the seas. Monitoring marine ecosystems presents many challenges.

• Brodifacoum is persistent. It is lipophilic on the same order of magnitude as DDT. Methods are not developed for a major metabolite of diphacinone; its persistence and its bioaccumulative properties are unknown.
• Land animals have perished without detecting AR's in muscle tissue.
• Fish samples in most tests have been fillets (muscle tissue), and the liver and other entrails were not tested. Commercial fishermen discard the entrails at sea.
• Secondary poisoning studies for diphacinone did not test toxicant levels but used bioassay techniques. Poisoned rats were fed to animals with mixed results, and blood from treated cattle was injected into vampire bats and all treated bats died.
• Two studies have shown that AR’s are detected in marine animal tissue after aerial application of baits.
• One of the symptoms of anticoagulant poisoning is hemorrhaging. Unusual mass strandings of hemorrhaging dolphins occurred in San Diego in 2015 and Hawaii in 2021. Little is known about the fate of AR's in the marine environment. Eradication of invasive species with AR’s on islands puts marine predators and scavengers at considerable risk indefinitely.

Highlights: • AR’s can cause harm without detection by chemical analyses. • Analytical methods for AR’s are incomplete and imprecise. • AR’s bioaccumulate up the food chain. There have been many marine mammal strandings coincidental with poison drops.

Tentative Submission Date: 02/02/2024

Back to TopTop