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What municipalities can do for hermits and fire salamanders

Feb 05, 2014
The Alps possess an especially large and valuable diversity of plants and animals; this can only continue if habitats are preserved and remain connected to one another. Municipalities can contribute to this in many ways: CIPRA has produced a short film for municipal representatives showing how to make use of these opportunities.

Hermit, fire salamander, German tamarisk and many more: a total of some 43,000 plant and animal species live in the Alps. They must be able to move freely in order to thrive and reproduce. In a recently released short film, CIPRA, the International Commission for the Protection of the Alps, gives examples of how municipalities can take appropriate steps to benefit both animals and plants.
In many ways throughout the Alps, functioning connections between habitats are broken, often without thinking and usually permanently. The habitats for animals become patchy, species diversity is reduced and some species disappear altogether. “It is urgently necessary to think and act for Nature”, says CIPRA project manager Aurelia Ullrich-Schneider.

People profit too

The film “For hermits and fire salamanders – How municipalities connect habitats in the Alps” gives examples of how municipalities can contribute to maintaining the natural diversity of the Alps. Representatives from the Isère département in France, the Engadin in Switzerland and South Tyrol explain how they all contribute to connecting habitats. Each emphasises that it is not just nature that profits, but also people. “I think the film is very relevant and clearly shows Alpine municipalities that taking account of landscapes and biodiversity improves their quality of life and sustainable development. The film successfully gets this core message across”, states Antonio Chiadò, vice-chairman of the “Alliance in the Alps” network of municipalities.

The 15-minute film is available in English, French, German, Italian and Slovenian as a free DVD or internet download. CIPRA will also be showing the film over the coming months to its target audience of municipal representatives at various events, including at the locations where the film was made.

Useful accompanying material

The website features, alongside the film, a two-minute trailer for municipalities and further aids for developing ecological networking, such as a catalogue of possible steps to take, an expert database and an interactive map showing the networking potential of a particular area.

The film forms part of the Ecological Continuum Initiative under which CIPRA, together with ALPARC (Alpine Network of Protected Areas) and ISCAR (International Scientific Committee for Alpine Research), is supporting municipalities and other players in their efforts to improve ecological networks in the Alps.

Please address all queries to:
Aurelia Ullrich-Schneider, Project Manager, Biodiversity and Landscape, CIPRA International
+423 237 53 08, eMail

> order the DVD for free

Type Title
Press release, 15.02.2013 Press release, 15.02.2013