Identifying gaps in conservation and habitat management – Natura 2000 site Târnovu Mare-Latorița
Abstract: The study aims to identify the main gaps in conservation and proposes objectives in the management of protected areas. The physical characteristics of the protected area, the land use, the identification of current pressures and future threats are analyzed. Geomorphological and geological analysis is the component that highlights the correlations between relief and the distribution of habitat types. Among the features that make it unique in the Carpathian landscape, the protected area consists of a very rugged calcareous ridge with calcareous rocky slopes and chasmophytic vegetation, alpine calcareous grass-lands and a habitat of community interest consisting of forests with Larix decidua (the largest larch area in the Romanian Carpathians). The site is also home to a viable population of large carnivores (Ursus arctos, Canis lupus, Lynx lynx).The main current pressures that are also mostly identified as future threats to the site are intensive grazing, the extension of access roads, poaching, creating of conditions for invasive species, reduction of habitat connectivity due to anthropogenic causes, antagonism with domestic animals, and off-road driving of the motor vehicles.Future threats are anticipated due to growing forestry activities, with a negative impact especially by complete deforestation, which is favoured by the restitutio in integrum of forests to the private domain without any conditionality for those that lie within the protected natural areas.Intensive grazing leads to grassland degradation (impoverishment in species, changes in plant association). Among the proposed conservation measures, we mention: strict control of grazing livestock and grazing period, payment of compensation for private forests with high conservation value, limitation of buildings and access roads in the high areas.