Teixeira A., Magalhães M.F., Oliveira J.M., Beja P., Lopes-Lima M., Nogueira J., Jesus J., Cortes R., Varandas S., Reis J., Rodrigues P., Pereira J., García Álvarez M., Fonseca C., Barros T., Ferreira E., Teixeira F., Miranda F., Cortez P., Fernandes C., Mesquita E., Pereira A.M., Teiga-Teixeira J., Froufe E., Sousa R.
The project “Recovery and Protection of Margaritifera margaritifera” (POSEUR-03-2215-FC-000096) involves a multidisciplinary team with the ultimate goal to protect and restore the freshwater pearl mussel M. margaritifera and brown trout Salmo trutta populations in Portugal by the implementation of different scientific tasks and conservation measures. Several tasks have been developed in the last 3 years such as: 1) in situ actions that include (a) determination of the extent, detailed spatial distribution and conservation status of the target species; (b) evaluation of the biological and ecological quality of salmonid rivers; (c) analysis of vulnerability to climate change, control of exotics and other threatening factors; (d) increase habitat suitability; (e) design of measures for the management of salmonid watercourses; (f) monitoring of M. margaritifera and S. trutta restocking programmes; and 2) ex situ actions that include: (g) captive reproduction of M. margaritifera; (h) captive breeding of S. trutta; (i) genetic characterization of wild populations of S. trutta, including selection of several wild stocks for breeding in captivity, according to the strategy defined by the Institute for Nature and Forest Conservation. Overall, scientific results and conservation measures gathered and implemented by this project will be fundamental for the future survival of M. margaritifera and its host S. trutta in Portugal under a scenario of climate change and increased human disturbance.
Acknowledgments: The “Recovery and Protection of Margaritifera margaritifera” project is developed by QUERCUS - National Conservation Association of Portugal with the partnership of ICNF – Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests of Portugal. The project is financed by POSEUR-03-2215-FC-000096) and the Environmental Fund (Portuguese governmental services).