LIFE Project Cover Photo

Conservation of the Pannon endemic Dianthus diutinus

Reference: LIFE06 NAT/H/000104 | Acronym: HUNDIDI

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

BACKGROUND

The subendemic and extremely rare flower species, Dianthus diutinus, is only found in the interfluve area between the Danube and Tisza rivers. It is strictly protected under Hungarian law and a priority species of Community interest. The majority of the known habitats of the Dianthus diutinus are afforested, though its natural habitat is an open patchwork of grassland and scattered stands of forests (such as native juniper and poplar) with the plants mostly found on the grassland parts. Forestry activity, however, has fragmented and isolated these natural habitats.


OBJECTIVES

The main objective was to stabilise 85% of the presently known stands of the target species, Dianthus diutinus. This percentage relates to the number of individuals in populations inside the three project areas based on the species conservation action plan compiled in 2004. In order to reverse the continuous decrease of the population caused by habitat diminution and isolation of the subpopulations, the project aimed to create a semi-natural habitat network by enlarging and connecting present habitats at the three most important sites for the species: Bodoglár, Bócsa, Csévharaszt. These sites would not be affected by forestry activity. Informing the general public about the importance of these unique habitats was considered vital for improving the long-run survival of this species.


RESULTS

According to precise, GPS based monitoring results, the project succeeded in increasing the number of long-lasting individuals of Dianthus diutinus from 19 029 of 2007 to 97 738 of 2011, not including the specimens that were planted ex situ. This result far exceeded expectations. Furthermore, habitat restoration extended the interconnected and unbroken habitat area for the target species to 455 ha.

The removal of non-indigenous, invasive species and limiting of forestry activities will help reduce disturbance to these populations and improve habitat conditions in the project areas In total 100 ha of pine and Robinia forest were restored, while expanding stands of the alien invasive species, milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) in autochthonous grasslands, were substantially reduced from 54 ha to 7.7 ha. The follow-up treatment of arboreal invasive species, Robinia pseudo-acacia, Ailanthus altissima and Prunus serotina, was carried out on an area of 48 ha.

Another key result was the drawing up of three conservation management plans for the pSCI site for ‘Harkakötöny-Bodoglári homokbuckák’ (713 ha), ‘Bócsa-Bugaci homokpuszta’ pSCI site (11 633 ha) and ‘Csévharaszti homokvidék’ pSCI site (362 ha) and their approval by the Hungarian ministry of rural development. Ten-year forest management plans were also drawn up for all three of these sites and approved by the government. In addition, a high-quality nature trail on the Bodoglár site (1.5 km) was planned and constructed.

The botanical garden of the University of Szeged successfully carried out ex-situ propagation of Dianthus diutinus in its plant nursery. In total, 18 777 of such ex-situ raised plants were reintroduced to three project sites with a success rate of 80%. The long-term survival prospects of the target species was improved by informing the general public about the importance of its unique habitat. Moreover, eight regional meetings with local foresters were held in order to ensure that their activities respect nature conservation goals.

The information campaign also entailed the production of a wide range of materials (leaflets, stickers, posters, puzzles, folders and fridge magnets) and the erection of 17 information boards at the project sites and in the town of Kiskunmajsa and at the botanical garden of the university. The project also produced a film that was broadcasted five times on national TV channels. The project’s results were also presented at nine scientific events, both in Hungary and abroad, and in six scientific articles.

Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Conservation Plan (see "Read more" section).

ADMINISTRATIVE DATA


Reference: LIFE06 NAT/H/000104
Acronym: HUNDIDI
Start Date: 01/09/2006
End Date: 31/12/2011
Total Budget: 1,630,785 €
EU Contribution: 1,223,088 €
Project Location:

CONTACT DETAILS


Coordinating Beneficiary: Kiskunság National Park
Legal Status: PUBLIC
Address: Liszt F. u. 19, 6000, Kecskemét, Hungary Magyarország
Contact Person: Emil BOROS
Email: mileo@knp.hu
Tel: +36 30 6275023
Website: www.tartosszegfu.hu


LIFE Project Map

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ADDRESSED

THEMES

  • Plants

KEYWORDS

  • endemic species
  • protected area

TARGET EU LEGISLATION

  • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directive (21.05.1992)

SPECIES

  • Dianthus diutinus

NATURA 2000 SITES

Type Code Name
SCI HUKN20012 Szegedi ürgés gyep (DEPRECATED)
SCI HUKN20024 Bócsa-bugaci homokpuszta (DEPRECATED)
SCI HUKN20035 Harkakötöny - kiskunmajsai homokbuckák (DEPRECATED)

BENEFICIARIES

Name Type
Kiskunság National Park Coordinator
Duna-Ipoly National Park Directorate, Hungary Participant
University of Szeged, Hungary Participant
Local Government of Kiskunmajsa, Hungary Participant