LIFE Project Cover Photo

Italian emergency strategy for fighting illegal poisoning and minimize its impact on bear, wolf and other species

Reference: LIFE13 NAT/IT/000311 | Acronym: LIFE PLUTO

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

BACKGROUND

The illegal use of poison is one of the main threats to two priority large carnivore species of the Habitats Directive ? the brown bear (Ursus arctos) and the wolf (Canis lupus) ? as well as to several scavenger raptor species.

Each year in Italy several cases of poisoning are reported, although it is thought these represent only the tip of the iceberg. In fact, the practice remains mostly undiscovered due to the fact that the carcasses of wild animals are rarely found, especially if they are of very rare species. Furthermore, cases of poisoning are not always reported.

The use of poison baits also remains widespread: sometimes the poison targets are the protected species themselves. But at other times, protected species are caught up in, for example, local quarrels among truffle searchers or between truffle searchers and hunters. The use of poison baits is most common in areas frequented by the wolf and in the brown bear distribution area in the Apennines. The Griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) is another common victim of poison. Other species that are particularly vulnerable to poisoning are the red kite (Milvus milvus), the Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus) and the bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus).


OBJECTIVES

The LIFE PLUTO project?s overall objective is to favour the conservation of the brown bear, wolf and scavenger raptors in Italy, by carrying out large-scale measures for preventing and fighting the illegal use of poison.

A cornerstone of the project is the use of anti-poisoning dog units (known by their Italian acronym NCAs) over a significant part of the country. Specifically, it aims to set up six units, run by the Italian forest service, together with two units covering the Gran Sasso-Laga national park. Each unit will consist of one dog trainer and two dogs. The eight NCAs will together operate over all of central and southern Italy, covering 11 regions in total. The units will carry out routine inspections in the areas most at risk, as well as urgent inspections once a poison carcass or bait is found, in order to clear the territory of other poison.

Expected results:

  • A 90% increase in the number of reports of wild animal poisoning cases received by the state forest authority on its ?1515? emergency telephone number;
  • A 60% increase in interventions, as requested by other institutional bodies; and
  • A 30% increase in detection of wild animal poisoning cases in the first two years after the NCA?s start up, and a 50% decrease in numbers within four years.

  • ADMINISTRATIVE DATA


    Reference: LIFE13 NAT/IT/000311
    Acronym: LIFE PLUTO
    Start Date: 01/06/2014
    End Date: 30/11/2020
    Total Budget: 2,414,270 €
    EU Contribution: 1,265,077 €
    Project Location:
    Project Website: http://www.gransassolagapark.it

    CONTACT DETAILS


    Coordinating Beneficiary: ENTE PARCO NAZIONALE DEL GRAN SASSO E MONTI DELLA LAGA
    Legal Status: PAT
    Address: VIA DEL CONVENTO, 1, 67010, ASSERGI - L'AQUILA, Italia
    Contact Person: Federico Striglioni
    Email: federicostriglioni@gransassolagapark.it
    Tel:
    Fax:


    LIFE Project Map

    ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ADDRESSED

    THEMES

    • Mammals

    KEYWORDS

    • poison
    • emergency plan
    • environmental law
    • endangered species

    TARGET HABITAT TYPES

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

    SPECIES

    • Gyps fulvus
    • Milvus milvus
    • Neophron percnopterus
    • Gypaetus barbatus
    • Canis lupus
    • Ursus arctos

    BENEFICIARIES

    Name Type
    ENTE PARCO NAZIONALE DEL GRAN SASSO E MONTI DELLA LAGA Coordinator
    CFS(Corpo Forestale dello Stato), Italy Participant

    Back