Conservation of the endangered Danube Clouded Yellow butterfly (Colias myrmidone) in Natura 2000 sites of Romania

Project: Research

Project participants

  • Loos, Jacqueline (Project manager, academic)
  • Börsch, Jonas (Project staff)
  • Gallersdörfer, Juliane (Project staff)
  • Kortmann, Elena (Project staff)
  • Nippen, Pauline (Partner)
  • Dolek, Matthias (Partner, non-academic)
  • Kastal, Agnes (Partner, non-academic)
  • Lengyel, Peter (Partner, non-academic)
  • Vizauer, Tibor-Csaba (Partner, non-academic)


The habitat of the Danube Clouded Yellow Butterfly is characterised by a small-scale functional and niche diversity. That makes this species the prototype of a butterfly species, which is adapted to a diverse cultural landscape. Any landscape standardisation and homogenisation leads to a significant and rapid decline of their number. In the last 15 years, this butterfly has become extinct in numerous EU member states. To protect its habitat and existence, the EU listed it in Annexes II and IV of its Habitats Directive. One of the last known habitats of the species is in Romania where, however, their populations are already endangered.

Project details:
The project aims to prevent the disappearance of the butterfly in the three Natura 2000 sites located in the counties of Harghita and Cluj in Romania. Together with Romanian experts, Leuphana University of Lüneburg intends to develop a list of protective measures. During the project, the local people of the counties li ving in and/or from the protected areas will be extensively involved. The list shall include measures which protect the species and which, at the same time, are socially acceptable. These measures shall be included in the future management plans of the concerned Natura 2000 sites. Acceptable measures allow for reasonable use of the sites by humans without endangering the existence of this species. Addressing gaps in knowledge about the habitat requirements of the Danube Clouded Yellow Butterfly will form a significant part of the project. Germany can benefit from the findings of the project, too, because new insights into habitat requirements can be used to reintroduce the butterfly into Germany.

Research outputs