Romanian Carpathians are considered a hotspot of biodiversity in Europe, with large forested areas, including old-growth forests. Past forestry practices such as selective logging resulting in forest high grading, and removal of ancient or decaying trees reduced the heterogeneity of forest structure and composition. These practices lead to forest habitats with few veteran trees and a small amount of dead wood, which protected beetles such as Rosalia alpina, Osmoderma eremita, Cerambyx cerdo, Morimus funereus and Lucanus cervus rely on for completing their complex life cycles. Moreover, saproxylic species are considered pest species by traditional forestry techniques, reducing the value of timber. Romanian forestry formal and informal practices actively seek to reduce the deadwood quantity in order to lower the presence of saproxylic species and sometimes use sanitation logging for isolating stands with a high diversity of saproxylic beetles or even applying insecticides.
The project aims at halting and reversing the loss of priority and non-priority saproxylic beetles’ populations in the Carpathians by demonstrating conservation actions for increasing the connectivity of favorable habitats in the ROSCI0208 Putna Vrancea (Eastern Carpathians, Romania) and transferring and replicating suitable actions in other Romanian Natura 2000 sites.