Natural Preservation Issues
Csóka, GY., and Kovács, T. 1999. Xylophagous insects. Forest Research Institute. Erdészeti Turományos Intézet. Agroinform Kiadó, Budapest. 189 pp.
Quite a few xylophagous insects are included in the Red Books of endangered species and different lists of protected species, both in Hungary and the rest of Europe - demonstrating their importance for nature conservation. One of the important "roles" of the protected xylophagous insects is to allow some complete areas to be declared as protected. In Hungary the National Parks and Landscape Protection Areas (particularly the strictly protected area) and the forests involved in the Forest Reservoir programme and territories belonging to the MAB (Man and Biosphere) program are examples of "area protection". It is now widely accepted that for successful conservation efforts, "habitat protection" must have priority over preservation efforts concentrating on single species.
Insects were first included in lists of protected species in 1982, with a low number (148) of protected species compared to their species richness. In the Hungarian Red Book published in 1989 (listing the species extinct or threatened in Hungary), the insects already have a better representation (227 species). 12 species of these 227 are included in this book (they marked with a "VK" abbreviation in the species accounts). The revised list of protected species, published in 1993, included 372 species of insects 23 of which can be found in this book (=V). In 1997 a National Biodiversity Monitoring System was established in Hungary in order to provide data and knowledge about the status of and changes in biodiversity, and so to aid nature preservation. This scheme represents an important part of the Hungary's commitment following the Rio de Janeiro agreement of 1992. 11 species of the 37 Coleopteran species that are part of this monitoring scheme are included in this book (=BMP).
A new Red Book was published in 1999 covering natural and semi-natural plant associations in Hungary. 90 (26%) of the associations listed are found in forests. 28 of them are recommended for protection and 45 for strict protection.
In addition to the Red Books and lists of protected species made in different countries, some international agreements also concern xylophagous insects. The main aim of the Corine Biotopes Programme (1991) is, for example, to establish a database of threatened biotopes and their species. A few species listed in this programme are also included in this book (=C). In the Red Book published in 1996 by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) different categories are given to categorise the degree of threat experienced by species. From this list several species belonging to the "vulnerable" category (=IUCNv) are included in this book.
The Bern Convention of 1979 protects wild plants and animals and their habitats. Hungary joined the Convention in 1990. Quite a few species are discussed in this book which are included in the book published by the Convention in 1994 which lists the strictly protected (=BCII), and the protected (=BCIII) species. The Bern Convention has a separate programme concerning the European saproxylic invertebrates, which listed the indicator species (=BCszxi) of the most important European forest habitats in 1996.
NATURA 2000 - which is valid in the EC - and especially its Habitats Directive lists threatened habitats and species. The xylophagous insects discussed in this book include species that belong to two of the four lists included in the Habitat Directive. List II includes the strictly protected species (=HDII) and list IV includes the protected species (=HDIV). Species listed in list II should be automatically declared as protected in the member countries, although exceptions can be claimed for species not threatened in a given country.
The vast majority of the species included in the lists mentioned above prefer undisturbed ancient forest habitats. These are becoming rarer and rarer Europe-wide. Their remaining fragments must be protected and any activity having negative impacts (for example, removing dead wood) should be stopped. It should also be mentioned that with increasing knowledge of the impact of man on species and their habitats, the protection status of species must be repeatedly re-evaluated and acted upon accordingly.
The abbreviations mentioned above for the degree of threat to and protection status of the species in this book are given in parentheses in the species account section.