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Best practice actions for wolf conservation in Mediterranean-type areas

Reference: LIFE11 NAT/IT/000069 | Acronym: MED-WOLF



Wolf populations in Spain, Portugal and Italy face the possibility of local extinction. The Iberian wolf population is c. 2 500 individuals, the largest in Western Europe (and 26% of the total EU population of wolves). The most endangered nucleus is located south of the Duero River – where the population is fragmented and probably does not exceed 200 individuals. Active conservation activities south of the river in both Spain and Portugal are therefore extremely important - both to avoid the local extinction of the wolf population in some areas, and to allow its expansion in others. In the Grosseto Province area, including the Maremma Natural Park, the population appears to be stable (especially on Monte Amiata). But it fluctuates over time, with its size depending on the efficiency of local management measures and the diversity of livestock husbandry methods. A likely estimate of the wolf population, also ranging outside the province territory, could be100-200 individuals. A recent study reported on a high level of conflicts between the presence of wolves and agricultural activities in the area. Therefore, a conservation action in the project area is extremely important as it would contribute to develop good practices for the management of conflicts in the lowland areas of expansion of wolves in central Italy.


There are two main project objectives: to reduce conflicts between the needs of large carnivores and human activities; and to promote the stable presence of wolves in rural areas in Western Mediterranean Europe, by restoring cultural habits that allow coexistence between people and wolves.

Expected results

The main quantified expected results are:
  • A reduction of at least 20% in damage to livestock in the project implementation areas;
  • The use of damage prevention methods by at least 30% of farmers;
  • Increased awareness among livestock owners of the best livestock management techniques for reducing predation; and increased knowledge among the general public and farmers about the problems, conservation issues and buffering measures related to large carnivores;
  • An agreement on common methodologies and criteria enabling efficient trans-boundary monitoring and management of wolves;
  • Provision of adequate training to wardens, vets and other technicians of public bodies about methodologies and techniques for monitoring wolves, and for damage assessment and prevention;
  • Creation of a standardised methodology for monitoring wolves in Portugal, developed by experts from Portugal and Spain; and
  • The establishment of an ‘international damage prevention working group’ and the publication of a regular e-bulletin, “Carnivore Damage Prevention News”.


    Reference: LIFE11 NAT/IT/000069
    Acronym: MED-WOLF
    Start Date: 01/09/2012
    End Date: 30/11/2017
    Total Eligible Budget: 3,315,272 €
    EU Contribution: 2,486,122 €


    Coordinating Beneficiary: ISTITUTO DI ECOLOGIA APPLICATA
    Legal Status: PNC
    Address: VIA B EUSTACHIO 10, 00161, ROMA,

    LIFE Project Map



    • Mammals


    • conflict of interests
    • nature conservation
    • endangered species


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


    • Canis lupus


    Code Name Type Version
    Malcata PTCON0004 SCI/SAC v.2021
    Serra da Estrela PTCON0014 SCI/SAC v.2021
    Douro Internacional PTCON0022 SCI/SAC v.2021


    Name Type
    Coldiretti Grosseto, Italy Participant
    Confagricoltura Grosseto, Italy Participant
    Provincia di Grosseto - Dipartimento Sviluppo Sostenibile, Italy Participant
    Grupo Lobo - Associação para Conservação do Lobo e do seu Ecossistema, Portugal Participant
    Faculdade de Ciencias - Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal Participant
    Confederazione Italiana Agricoltori – Grosseto, Italy Participant
    Instituto Nacional de Recursos Biologicos, Spain Participant
    Acção, Liberdade, Desenvolvimento, Educação, Investigação, Ambiente (Aldeia), Portugal Participant
    WWF Italia Onlus, Italy Participant
    Circolo Festambiente, Italy Participant
    Instituto Politecnico de Castelo Branco - Escola Superior Agraria, Italy Participant