Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife
and Natural Habitats

Standing Committee

Recommendation No. 29 (1991) on the conservation of wetland invertebrates

(Adopted by the Standing Committee on 6 December 1991)

The Standing Committee of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitat, acting under Article 14 of the convention,

Having regard to the aims of the convention to conserve wild flora and fauna and their natural habitats;

Recognising the substantial contribution made by the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitats for the preservation of those threatened ecosystems;

Recalling the fundamental role that invertebrates play in the maintenance of the wetland ecosystem, and the interdependence between invertebrates and other components of such ecosystems;

Noting that many species of wetland invertebrates are declining, even when they occur in protected areas;

Conscious of the need to dedicate more efforts to the preservation of invertebrate species, and wetland invertebrate species in particular;

Convinced that wetland management can be substantially improved to ensure the maintenance of appropriate population levels of the different species of wetland invertebrates;

Referring to Recommendation N° R (86) 10 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe concerning the Charter on Invertebrates;

Referring to Resolution (77) 8 of the same Committee on the protection of lake shores and river banks;

Referring to Recommendation N°s R (87) 13 and (87) 14 of the same Committee on the setting up of computerised databanks on the environment and the management of resources and on the protection of dragonflies (Odonata) and their biotopes;

Referring to Resolution N° 1 (1989) of the Standing Committee of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats and to Recommendations N°s 14, 15 and 16 (1989) of the same committee on the conservation of habitats;

Recognising the important role paid by the European Invertebrate Survey in promoting conservation of invertebrate species in Europe,

Recommends that Contracting Parties:

1.         promote national and international recording schemes of the different groups of wetland invertebrates; create databases on wetland invertebrate faunas including cartographical, ecological and conservation information;

2.         encourage research on all aspects of the biology and conservation of wetland invertebrates, with a view to the development of effective conservation measures;

3.         promote the training of invertebrate taxonomists and other invertebrate scientists;

4.         ensure that national and regional nature conservation bodies have adequate information on the conservation of invertebrates, and wetland invertebrates in particular,

5.         develop and distribute educational materials to enable the public to appreciate better the natural values of wetlands and the role of invertebrates in their ecological dynamics;


6.         promote appropriate management, or wise use, of wetlands so as to maintain the features of importance for the survival of invertebrate populations and other components of such ecosystems;

7.         consider the protection or appropriate management of different types of wetland ecosystem and their specific invertebrate faunas ; maintain the ecological processes and functioning that are responsible for the biological characteristics and diversity of those wetlands (such as flooding of alluvial flood plains, periodical drying up of wetlands or temporal pools, natural water circulation in the upper parts or river and lake basins, conservation of the biological structure and dynamics of river banks and lake shores, natural fluctuation of water tables, etc.);

8.         when carrying out environmental impact assessments, promote the inclusion of the evaluation of the impact on wetlands and their invertebrate faunas of any new development projects (tourism, river canalisation, industry, etc.);

9.         restore, where appropriate, degraded or polluted wetlands and endeavour to recreate the natural dynamics of wetlands that have been man-modified;

10.       give special attention to the protection of wetlands with particularly important invertebrate faunas;

Protected areas

11.       survey, to the extent possible, the main invertebrate groups in the assessment of the conservation value of candidate areas for protection and for selection of sites for inclusion in the European network of biogenetic reserves;

12.       consider the establishment of monitoring schemes for invertebrate species in protected wetlands ; ensure in particular that adequate inventories of invertebrate species are carried out in sites of the European network of biogenetic reserves;

13.       make sure that the conservation of invertebrate species is included in the goals of the management plans of protected wetland areas ; adapt present management plans to include this objective;

14.       promote invertebrate conservation in territories surrounding protected areas;

15.       promote measures in the catchment areas of wetland sites which will protect those sites from pollution, changes in hydrological regime and other damage;

Endangered species

16.       identify endangered wetland invertebrates and carry out recovery plans for those species;

invites the World Conservation Union (IUCN), the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) and other nature conservation bodies to carry out more comprehensive invertebrate conservation action, particularly on wetland invertebrates.