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Spatial containment of Vespa velutina in Italy and establishment of an Early Warning and Rapid Response System (LIFE STOPVESPA)
Date du début: 1 sept. 2015, Date de fin: 31 août 2019 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

Background The Asian predatory wasp (Vespa velutina) is an invasive alien species that poses a serious threat to European biodiversity due to its alimentary habits. The wasp feeds larvae on animal proteins from native wasps, bees, other hymenoptera, diptera and lepidoptera. The species is being controlled in France through the use of baited traps and the destruction of nests. But these methods have proved to be inadequate and the species has spread to most of France and other countries, including Italy. The invasive species could prey honey bees and raise alarms when nesting in urban areas. Objectives The main objective of LIFE STOPVESPA is to contain the invasive wasp species and prevent it from further invading Italy. It will develop a prototype and an effective monitoring and control system that will enable the species to be removed from those already affected areas in Liguria and Piedmont. Specifically, the project aims to: Develop a prototype of harmonic radar provided by a transponder, in order to locate flying wasps flying back to their nests. The harmonic radar could greatly improve the search for colonial nests early in the season, even those hidden among the vegetation, allowing them to be destroyed before new queens are created; Remove all colonial nests present in the invaded area (western Liguria and southern Piedmont) and those that may be established during the project; Implement an Early Warning and Rapid Response System at the regional and national level to prevent further invasions; and Create a coordinated coalition of trained volunteers among beekeepers to detect and destroy colonial nests. Expected results: New tools and a management model for alien wasps that will be useful to manage V. velutina and other introduced wasps in Europe; Use of attractive beehives placed in areas without beekeepers to attract and monitor invasive wasps; GIS-based maps of wasp and colonial nest distribution that will be used to explain the trend of removal operations; Elimination of possible public alarm due to the presence of colonial nests; Creation of an emergency team that could rapidly intervene in other invaded areas; Increased awareness on the impacts produced by invasive species and V.velutina in particular; and Dissemination of the new methods developed by STOPVESPA at national and international level.


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