On 19 December 2016, the Species Protection Programme (SBP) for the grayling (Hipparchia semele) was adopted. This programme aims to contribute to the favourable conservation status of this species in Flanders. It also aims to achieve a regionally favourable conservation status for five protected European habitats for which the grayling is listed as a habitat-typical species.
The main measures included in the SBP consist of: maintaining and extending the surface area of the habitat, adapting management to increase the quality of the habitat, establishing colonisation areas, securing stepping stones, reviewing management plans in view of the impact of climate change on the species and its habitat and adapting opening plans for relevant areas. In addition, research, monitoring, communication and awareness-raising will be carried out.
One of the actions in the SBP is to investigate the feasibility of translocation. This cannot be seen in isolation from the study of population genetics. The ANB wishes to carry out this action and to further concretise it by means of genetic research and the drawing up of a translocation plan for graylings in Flanders.
During the site visits, the local manager will be involved in the sampling and together the current habitat quality and its evolution in the habitats will be determined, from which recommendations for tailor-made management will follow. In the meantime, the ANB and partners will continue to work on better and more habitat for the species.
As a result of the research results, a translocation plan will be drawn up with recommendations for graylings in Flanders and checked against the SBP. Subsequently, the desired translocations will be carried out on site and closely monitored genetically, providing the necessary experience and know-how for other initiatives and species in the future.