PAPILLONS - Reconstituting a habitat network for threatened butterflies (Euphydryas aurinia, Lycaena helle, Lycaena dispar) in the Walloon region (Belgium)
URL NAT/B/000039



This project relates to three butterfly species listed in annexes II and IV of the Habitats Directive (92/43/CEE): the Marsh Fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia), the Violet Copper (Lycaena helle), and the Large Copper (Lycaena dispar). The first species, linked to unfertilised meadow habitats both dry and wet, has suffered a substantial decline in Wallonia and in most of Europe over the past few decades as a result of general fertilisation of meadows. The second is a species that is a relict of cold regions, rare in Western Europe where it is restricted to a few mountain ranges – for example, the Ardennes. However, the populations there are experiencing a strong decline owing to the deterioration of their habitats. The third species appears to be very sparsely distributed throughout Europe, just as it is in Wallonia, where it is restricted to the southernmost extreme of the territory and threatened by the development of farming practices and urbanisation. The main threats to their future survival are: isolation and fragmentation of populations; decrease of favourable habitat areas; and direct destruction of individuals resulting from inadequate territorial management.


The general objective of this project is to restore the three lepidoptera species to a favourable conservation status within 25 Natura 2000 sites. The project will focus on the following four specific objectives:
Reducing the isolation of surviving populations by recreating interconnected habitat networks, taking into account the needs of each of the species and ensuring their long-term viability;
Contributing to the restoration of favourable habitats for these species;
Implementing long-term and appropriate regular management of the project sites;
Raising awareness among nature managers and the general public about the particularly critical situation of the butterflies and informing them about the territorial management principles needed to conserve them.

Expected results:
Restoration of a network of favourable habitats for Euphydryas aurinia, Lycaena helle and Lycaena dispar over an area of some 540 ha;
Implementation of appropriate and long-term management, particularly by: protecting 160 ha as nature reserves; developing grazing management of 115 ha of wet meadows; purchasing management equipment for professionals and volunteers; developing a competence network of stakeholders; and drawing up a joint, common After-LIFE action plan in co-operation with stakeholders;
Increasing awareness among nature managers and the general public, particularly as a result of: an attractive project website; a project brochure (5 000 copies); three editions of a widely-distributed magazine (10 000 copies); information and educational boards for visitor reception; a range of discovery activities for nature managers and the general public; and a trilingual layman's report (1 000 copies).


endangered species‚ protected area‚ restoration measure‚


Name Role Amount
EU LIFE unknown 356.000.00 EUR


Name Role Start End
Natagora member 2009-01-01 2013-12-01

created:2011-12-14 14:18:59 UTC, source:eu

© 2012 by the Belgian Biodiversity Platform