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FGCSIC Proyectos Cero on Endangered Species funding decisions announced


The Fundación General CSIC’s 2010 call for Proyectos Cero proposals on Endangered Species was launched on March 15 and the winning proposals were announced on October 7. Five projects have been selected, for which a budget of 1,085,000 euros has been pledged. Funding will provided by Banco Santander, the Spanish National Research Council (Agencia Estatal CSIC), supplemented with the Fundación General CSIC’s own resources.

A total of 41 applications were initially received in the form of expressions of interest, of which 32 came from various centres belonging to the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). Of the twelve that were pre-selected, eleven went on to compete in the second phase of the process. After a final assessment by the evaluation and selection committees, the Foundation decided to award funding to a total of five projects.

With its call for Proyectos Cero proposals on Endangered Species, the Fundación General CSIC’s goal is to promote and fund the running of high impact research projects aimed at protecting and preserving wildlife species that are threatened or endangered.

The five projects chosen match the philosophy of the FGCSIC’s Proyectos Cero, which is to promote unique and outstanding world-class research with a transdisciplinary perspective. The line is aimed at research groups with links to Spanish public R&D and is being run as a series of open calls for proposals in areas corresponding to the in the Foundation’s four main strategic lines: Threatened species; Ageing, disability and illness; Human ecology and development; and, Frontiers.

Proyectos Cero projects granted funding

Principal Investigator: Lluís Brotons, Centre Tecnològic Forestal de Catalunya (CTFC).

Project Title: “Un paso adelante. Aves esteparias, prácticas agrícolas y viabilidad económica: hacia la conservación de especies amenazadas en paisajes humanizados”.

Description: This study will provide tools and solutions to successfully enable the conservation of Spanish steppe regions, The approaches developed may be helpful in other areas and habitats in order to meet the difficult challenge of reconciling the conservation of biodiversity with sustainable economic development .

Principal Investigator: Pablo Vargas, Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid, CSIC.

Project Title: “¿Tienen todas las especies amenazadas el mismo valor? Origen y conservación de fósiles vivientes de plantas con flores endémicas en España”.

Description: This research project centres on an intensive study of five genera of flowering plants: Avellar, Castrilanthemum, Gyrocaryum, Naufraga and Pseudomisopates, classified as being in the «critically endangered» category, which is just one step short of «extinct plant.»

Principal Investigator: Annie Machordom, Museo de Ciencias Naturales, CSIC.

Project Title: “Plan de acción para las propuestas de viabilidad de la lapa en peligro de extinción, Patella ferruginea”.

Description: The project aims to study in depth the reproduction of the Patella ferruginea limpet species both in nature and in captivity. It aims to use aquaculture techniques to obtain juveniles and thereby enable populations to be restored if they are affected by a natural disaster.

Principal Investigator: José Antonio López Godoy, Estación Biológica de Doñana, CSIC.

Project Title: “Revelando el genoma del lince ibérico”.

Description: Sequencing the genome of the Iberian lynx will yield valuable information that might be lost in the near future if the species were to become extinct. At the same time it will generate valuable resources and tools for research on the biology and evolution of the species and its conservation.

Principal Investigator: Jaime Bosch Pérez, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, CSIC.

Project Title: “Mitigación de enfermedades en poblaciones de anfibios en declive”.

Description: This project will test new methods of mitigation of the disease caused by a fungus affecting amphibians in the wild. Along with Drs Jonathan Bielby and Trenton Garner, of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), and Dr Matthew Fisher of Imperial College London, the project will model the disease dynamics in the populations concerned. It will also try to enable animals to develop a degree of acquired immunity and thereby boost their resistance to the disease.