The promotion of scientific study is one of the main institutional goals established by the Law regulating the Natural Parks of Trentino (LP 18/88 art. 1). This can also be found in the national Law of 6 December 1991, No. 394 (Framework law on protected areas) which considers scientific research as one of the cornerstones of park activity (Article 1 letter c).
Since the beginning, the Adamello Brenta Natural Park has been significantly involved in scientific study, promoting numerous researches and thus improving the knowledge of the natural environment.
Part one: external assignments and editorial series
In the early years, the Park promoted surveys by assigning specific tasks to professionals and external research institutes. This way, the protected area became a laboratory where cognitive studies, useful also for a wider territorial context, could be carried out. Among the most important research: health monitoring of wild ungulate populations, water analysis and in-depth analysis of the Park’s forests.
In 1993, in order to share the results of the research and make it available to the scientific community, the Park created the Park Documents editorial series. The main studies were collected in the published volumes.
The series stems from the idea that the promotion of scientific research is just as important as its dissemination. In fact, only by making the acquired information available to the public can amplify the positive effects.
Part Two: targeted studies for active protection
In the next phase, the Park carried out targeted studies along with important projects for the conservation of the environmental heritage.
This strategy, which starts with the project of reintroduction of the ibex in 1995, aims at finding out useful information to improve conservation strategies and active protection of the Park’s environmental heritage. For example, research projects such as the study of home-range and use of territory by the ibex . But also, later, the study on the diet, on the use of habitat and forest types of the brown bear, and participation in studies on the non-redness of Lake Tovel.
Other useful collaborations with universities have often produces degree thesis. This cooperation has allowed, on the one hand, the use of facilities and equipment otherwise unavailable to the Park, and on the other, to get scientific advice for publications and participation in conferences.
With the project of the brown bear reintroduction, the Park has intensified its scientific research activity and launched a training process in the wildlife sector. This was achieved by setting up 11 scholarships and research training for graduates in environmental subjects.
Scholarships, later extended to other areas of the Park, have therefore provided a significant boost to various research projects in various sectors.
Part Three: The Park in first person
To bring order to the growing scientific research carried out by the Park, in 2004 prof. F. Viola of the University of Padua wrote the Guidelines for research promoted by the Park (.pdf 155kb) and rules for funding requests to the Park. The document states the need to enhance the Park’s environmental knowledge for the correct management of resources. It also proposes to distribute research programs in a balanced way among the different research sectors (biological resources, environmental, population and human activities, etc.). Finally it favors distributed surveys and gives priority to those with systematic characteristics. That is, those that carry out real ecosystem-environmental monitoring.
The Park has therefore started wild life monitoring with ecosystem surveys later to be extended to the entire surface of the Park. Thus becoming the author of scientific research projects.
It has in fact established a two-year tender to reward the degree theses carried out within its territory, thus obtaining a large amount of data and surveys on the protected area at virtually zero costs.
Finally, in 2004 the Park, with a specific resolution of the Executive Committee (n. 153 of the Decree of 17/12/2004), established the Brown bear reseach and conservation Group. With the aim of improving the knowledge on the alpine fauna, controlling the evolution over time and suggesting the most suitable management decisions.
The Group has made it possible to intensify relations with universities and research institutes. In particular with the Universities of Sassari, Insubria, Padua, Milan, Udine, Florence, the Tridentine Museum of Natural Sciences and the E. Mach Foundation with interesting internship campaigns.
The Park has therefore assumed the role of a preferential site where research institutions can carry out their studies, taking advantage of the exceptional natural environment and the support of the Park’s facilities and personnel.
The Geopark has also started the feasibility analysis of the Geomorphological Map of its territory in collaboration with the University of Pavia. This will be the basic tool for the geomorphological characterization of the BioMiti Project Plots.