Agnė Jasinavičiūtė, Darijus Veteikis
A new methodology to assess landscape reserves in LithuaniaAbstract
The first state reserve in Lithuania was established in 1960; however, no detailed assessments of changes in the state of the protected values therein have been performed ever since. Landscape reserves are the most complex ones and they pursue the twofold goal – to conserve the values and to use them sustainably. In order to be resilient themselves, thus contributing to broader objectives of social-ecological resilience, the reserves should be able to adapt to ever-changing social and ecological conditions in a way that supports the long-term persistence of population, communities, and ecosystems of conservation concern. Therefore, it is necessary to update information on the status of values protected in the reserves. The article addresses this need by offering a concise and user-friendly methodology for assessing the status of landscape reserves. The methodology focuses on three main components: (1) general features of the landscape structure, (2) the effectiveness of protection of values and (3) the pressures and threats they experience. Two state landscape reserves were selected for testing the applicability of the methodology: one in Vilnius city, the other 50 km to the west, in the countryside. Application of the common methodology will allow to assess the condition of landscape reserves in the country. Further development of the methodology could include evaluation of external pressures (e.g. urbanization) as well as addition of remote sensing techniques.