LIFE Project Cover Photo

Actions to protect the wolf in 10 SIC zones in three parks of the region Emilia-Romagna

Reference: LIFE00 NAT/IT/007214 | Acronym: Lupo Romagna

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

BACKGROUND

The part of the Apennines which runs through Tuscany and the historic region of Emilia has acted as a corridor for the northward expansion of the wolf (Canis lupus). From the 1970s, when the species hit a historical low, it has gradually spread from packs concentrated in Central Italy and is now even colonising the Alpine areas between France and Italy. The return of the wolf to the northern Apennines conflicts with livestock farming and tourist activities. As a consequence, management models are needed that reconcile the conservation requirements of the species with human activities. The project involves ten pSCIs (proposed sites of Community interest within the Natura 2000 network) located in three regional protected areas. The major threats to the conservation of the wolf are a lack of knowledge on the wolves in this zone, the small size of the protected areas, problems generated by hunting, the lack of coordinated management of the wolf zone, the negative impact of sheep-farming and poaching, and a lack of awareness on the part of local inhabitants, hunters and administrations.


OBJECTIVES

The project’s overall aim was to maintain a viable wolf population in the project area in order to encourage its preservation and dispersal into other areas. The action taken concerned 10 pSCIs located in three regional parks. A GIS (geographic information system) would be established to carry out an assessment of data on the wolf in relation to ecological features and land-use. Management plans would also be drawn up (including a zoning and regulation of the area). Co-operation would be sought with the local stakeholders. In addition, the effectiveness of the types of management adopted would be verified, and an anti-poaching brigade would be set up.

Other activities planned as part of the project included protecting flocks and herds of livestock by erecting permanent fences, the elaboration of a faster procedure for payment of compensation for damage to livestock, monitoring of the wild and domestic prey of the wolf and a whole series of awareness-raising and educational activities.


RESULTS

The project partner, the Gigante regional park, built on experience from an earlier LIFE Nature project (LIFE97 NAT/IT/004141), to collaborate actively with the Frignano and Cento Laghi parks in order to ensure the actions for this project were well implemented.

The project team collected reliable scientific data on the wolves living in the 10 targeted sites. This enabled development of standard methodologies for monitoring the wolves and enabled the training of specialist staff. It also provided the three parks with standard management tools and data – providing for example, information on areas more suitable for the wolf, breeding areas, areas where predation of sheep are more likely etc) and it enabled the establishment of collaboration among the three administrations in favour of wolf conservation.

One of the main outcomes was the successful involvement of hunters and breeders to ensure they were both well informed about the project objectives and also involved in its actions. Following the involvement of these key stakeholders, the level of acceptance of the presence of the wolf in the project area is now reasonably good and this has helped to prevent poaching, which is a serious threat in other parts of Italy. As well as a dedicated website, public awareness activities included a mobile exhibition and the hosting of ‘wolf howling’ evenings as a novel way of involving the public in wolf conservation issues.

The construction of fences (11 including those built by the previous project) to protect the herds has been an effective action, which has resulted in a decrease of the damages caused by the wolves to the shepherds’ flocks.

The creation of a common procedure for the evaluation of the wolf damages to the sheep has been fundamental to the work by the parks’ as the reference authorities for the evaluation of the damages. Moreover the project encouraged co-ordination among the various organisations involved in the compensation for the damages (the parks, veterinary services and the regional authorities). In a bid to overcome the slowness of the regional administration in refunding damages, the Gigante park paid in advance for any damages that occurred in its territory. Another encouraging sign is that the provinces of Modena, Reggio and Parma, previously not involved in the conservation of the wolf, are now collaborating in the collection of data on the wolf tracks for genetic analysis.

The project partner, the Gigante regional park, built on experience from an earlier LIFE Nature project (LIFE97 NAT/IT/004141), to collaborate actively with the Frignano and Cento Laghi parks in order to ensure the actions for this project were well implemented.

The project team collected reliable scientific data on the wolves living in the 10 targeted sites. This enabled development of standard methodologies for monitoring the wolves and enabled the training of specialist staff. It also provided the three parks with standard management tools and data – providing for example, information on areas more suitable for the wolf, breeding areas, areas where predation of sheep are more likely etc) and it enabled the establishment of collaboration among the three administrations in favour of wolf conservation.

One of the main outcomes was the successful involvement of hunters and breeders to ensure they were both well informed about the project objectives and also involved in its actions. Following the involvement of these key stakeholders, the level of acceptance of the presence of the wolf in the project area is now reasonably good and this has helped to prevent poaching, which is a serious threat in other parts of Italy. As well as a dedicated website, public awareness activities included a mobile exhibition and the hosting of ‘wolf howling’ evenings as a novel way of involving the public in wolf conservation issues.

The construction of fences (11 including those built by the previous project) to protect the herds has been an effective action, which has resulted in a decrease of the damages caused by the wolves to the shepherds’ flocks.

The creation of a common procedure for the evaluation of the wolf damages to the sheep has been fundamental to the work by the parks’ as the reference authorities for the evaluation of the damages. Moreover the project encouraged co-ordination among the various organisations involved in the compensation for the damages (the parks, veterinary services and the regional authorities). In a bid to overcome the slowness of the regional administration in refunding damages, the Gigante park paid in advance for any damages that occurred in its territory. Another encouraging sign is that the provinces of Modena, Reggio and Parma, previously not involved in the conservation of the wolf, are now collaborating in the collection of data on the wolf tracks for genetic analysis.

ADMINISTRATIVE DATA


Reference: LIFE00 NAT/IT/007214
Acronym: Lupo Romagna
Start Date: 01/03/2001
End Date: 31/05/2004
Total Budget: 933,321 €
EU Contribution: 419,994 €
Project Location: Emilia-Romagna

CONTACT DETAILS


Coordinating Beneficiary: Regione Emilia-Romagna
Legal Status: OTHER
Address: Via Aldo Moro, 52, 40127, Bologna, Italia
Contact Person:
Email:
Tel:
Website:


LIFE Project Map

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ADDRESSED

THEMES

  • Mammals

KEYWORDS

  • monitoring
  • protected area
  • survey
  • mountainous area

TARGET EU LEGISLATION

  • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directive (21.05.1992)

TARGET HABITAT TYPES

  • 0 - Non applicable (i.e.species project)

SPECIES

  • Canis lupus

NATURA 2000 SITES

Type Code Name
SPA IT4030001 Monte Acuto, Alpe di Succiso (DEPRECATED)
SPA IT4030002 Monte Ventasso (DEPRECATED)
SPA IT4030003 Monte la Nuda, Cima Belfiore, Passo del Cerreto (DEPRECATED)
SPA IT4030004 Val d'Ozola, Monte Cusna (DEPRECATED)
SPA IT4030005 Abetina Reale, Alta Val Dolo (DEPRECATED)
SPA IT4030006 Monte Prado (DEPRECATED)
SPA IT4040001 Monte Cimone, Libro Aperto, Lago di Pratignano (DEPRECATED)
SPA IT4040002 Monte Rondinaio, Monte Giovo (DEPRECATED)
SPA IT4040005 Alpesigola, Sasso Tignoso e Monte Cantiere (DEPRECATED)

BENEFICIARIES

Name Type
Regione Emilia-Romagna Coordinator
Parco Regionale Alta Val Parma e Cedra, Italy Participant
Parco Regionale Alto Appennino Modenese, Italy Participant
Parco Regionale Alto Appennino Reggiano, Italy Participant

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