Main goals

Emys-R aims at bringing together people and nature



Why Emys-R?

“Emys” is the Latin name for the European pond turtle. The letter « R » echoes research. Emys-R echoes “emissary”. This research project aims at testing if/how the positive image of the European pond turtle by people could reverse their negative perception of wetlands.

Why Emys-R?

“Emys” is the Latin name for the European pond turtle. The letter “R” echoes research. Emys-R echoes “emissary”. This research project aims at assessing how the well-perceived European pond turtle can be an emissary for improving public perception of nature, and more specifically wetlands.



In Europe, where wetlands have decreased by 90% since the 18th century, the European pond turtle Emys has suffered the most spectacular decline of all reptiles. Restoration of natural habitats and reintroduction of endangered species are considered as an operational strategy to limit the erosion of biodiversity.


A scientific objective: assessing and improving conservation measures

Over the past 3 decades, the EU has funded numerous projects of wetland restoration and Emys reintroduction. However, the results of these measures deserve to be better highlighted. A key question remains unanswered: what are the most effective methods of wetland restoration for sustainably maintaining the European pond turtle and associated fauna in Europe?

Emys-R will analyze all resources available from past and present programs of wetlands restoration and Emys reintroduction throughout Europe, and test original methods based on social and ecological sciences, and adaptive management, to define the most effective, socially supported, methods of wetland restoration in favor of the Emys reintroduction and associated biodiversity throughout Europe, to be implemented in future homologous conservation measures.


A societal objective: bringing (back) together people and nature

Emys-R consolidates an international network of researchers, actors and territorial decision-makers in order to share academic knowledge and complementary field expertise on wetlands functioning and management. Beside its ecological assessment of conservation strategies, Emys-R will test the sociologial hypothesis that higher degrees of societal knowledge, sharing and involvement can improve the societal support of such conservation measures, which in turn benefit society by reconnecting humans and nature.

Emys-R aims at contributing to bring together people and nature, with the European pond turtle Emys as an emissary of poorly known wetlands.

Emys-R is funded through the 2020-2021 Biodiversa & Water JPI joint call for research proposals, under the BiodivRestore ERA-Net COFUND programme, and with the funding organisations Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR, France), Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF, Germany), State Education Development Agency (VIAA, Latvia), and National Science Center (NSC, Poland).



Jean-Yves Georges, IPHC, FR


Kathrin Theissinger, SGN, DE