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Beetle Conservation Project
Start date: Jan 5, 2015, End date: Oct 4, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Project Background What does it take to create sustainable awareness of our environment? Exclusive knowledge about nature is important, but emotional attachment to nature is elementary and sustainable. A positive approach to nature influences our behaviour much stronger than pure knowledge. For this reason, an international exchange of young people that are interested in conservation is important. Two conservation-related institutions in Germany and Austria implement a professional conservation project. This consists of various modules and takes place in the unique and threatened South-East Styria. Project Objectives The objectives of the project aims are manifold: from the transfer of knowledge about conservation, the cultural exchange between young people from different regions of Europe up to the creation of a European network of young people with similar interests and the protection and preservation of our environment. All participants are invited to contribute their experiences, knowledge, creativity, and their general potentials. To achieve sustainable effects this project enables young people the opportunity to participate in an international conservation project and thus to improve their personal skills and to gain valuable experiences. The focus is on the construction of two “Käferlarvenburgen”. This is a large wooden structure for endangered beetles (e.g. stag beetle), whose larvae live in dead wood. Further key aspects of activity are: measures in conservation management for wet and dry meadows, combating invasive neophytes (plants that colonize in areas where they are not native and that have negative impacts on biodiversity) and much more. Thus, the project makes an important contribution to the conservation of biodiversity, an aim that the EU targets. The project aims should contribute to alter the behaviour of the participants to act more responsibly, sustainably and ecologically than before and pass on these attitudes to their social environment number and profile of participants A total of 22 young people participating in the project, 12 of Germany and 10 of Austria. description of activities The project is composed of several modules: • Getting to know each other: through group -dynamic games, excursions And hikes in the area • Workshop 1: Applied biotope- and conservation management - construction of two “Käferlarvenburgen” • Workshop 2: Applied biotope- and conservation management - combating neophytes on areas with botanical rarities • Workshop 3: Applied biotope- and conservation management –supporting measures for a better stock of European roller, Eurasian hoopoe and different bat species • Workshop 4: Lectures by specialists on regional characteristics, such as the European roller, Eurasian hoopoe and mantidflies. These lectures are open to public and thus available to the local community. • Workshop 5: Familiarisation with the botanical and zoological features of the region guided by competent biologists. The participants are encouraged to actively participaTe methodology to be used in carrying out the project • dynamic group games • nature excursions, night-time hikes • hands-on activities • group work within the workshops • intercultural exchange by attendances of regional, cultural events a short description of the results and impact envisaged We aim to achieve that the access of the participants to nature and their relationship to Austria / Styria is positively strengthened. Moreover, we would like to teach and to show how varied the ways are to get involved and the joy of commitment to conservation. It is expected that the participants even after the project week, especially by the gained experience, will remain committed to conservation. The Participation on building a structure like that of the “Käferlarvenburg” which can be seen over many years by many people, gives the participants the feeling to have created something great and sustainable. This gives the participants power and strength for everyday life. - In addition, a stronger, sustainable network between the participating partner organizations is expected. potential longer term benefits We expect a strengthening of the personalities and skills of the participants, a sustained commitment to conservation and sharing of their experiences. Cultural exchange will occur through the integration of the local population and the visit of regional cultural assets. Long-term networking between the project partners and the regular exchange of resources (knowledge, staff). The managed areas are preserved for the community. An active and sustainable contribution to the conservation of biodiversity and conservation will be provided.
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