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 resultsThe main quantified expected results are: