PROGETTO LIFE12 NAT/IT/000807
WOLF IN THE ALPS: IMPLEMENTATION OF COORDINATED WOLF CONSERVATION ACTIONS IN CORE AREAS AND BEYOND
Project budget and requested EU funding:
Total project budget: 6.100.454 euro
EU financial contribution requested: 4.174.309 euro
The ultimate goal of the WOLFALPS project is to implement and coordinate wolf conservation actions in key core areas and beyond in the Alps ecosystem, from West to East, to further support the natural wolf alpine recolonization process. The lack of any form of coordinated management adopted at the Italian alpine scale is one of the most crucial challenges. Therefore, the implementation of the overall organization of the WOLFALPS project, which is build up on a shared and coordinated conservation program implemented within the different administrative divisions in Italy and Slovenia, and shared with other alpine countries, is the first objective to support wolf conservation over the Alps.
At the same time, to be highly efficient and realistic, conservation measures will be firstly applied in key core areas distributed from West to East over the Alps. A spatial model, developed in a previous ECONNECT project, indicated the wolf core areas important for the long term persistence of the wolf population within the alpine ecosystem. We adopted these indicated core areas, which are either already occupied by wolf packs, as in the Western Alps, or just recently recolonized by few individuals in the Central-Eastern Alps.
Actions and means involved:
The main goal of the WOLFALPS project – to implement and coordinate wolf conservation actions in key core areas and beyond in the Alps ecosystem, from West to East, to further support the natural wolf alpine recolonization process – will be reached thanks to several coordinated conservation actions.
In each core area, depending on local priorities, the main actions are:
– establishment of Wolf Alpine Conservation and Communication Groups, increasing coordination in
conservation measures and amplification of positive results;
– development of reliable wolf surveys for the evaluation of the wolf conservation status considered as
an ex-ante and ex-post action, and characterization of conditions of conflicts which will allows optimal
implementation of concrete actions;
– exchange and transfer of experiences from West to East, training of local actors involved in anti-poaching actions, assessment of wolf population parameters, as well as identification of local scale and alpine scale good practices;
– control poaching events, especially poisoning, by enforcement of new coordinated strategies;
– preventive measures adoption in recent recolonized areas;
– develop, test, and implement new ad hoc preventive measure strategies in the Alps context to decrease wolf attacks on livestock;
– develop local land management plans to protect the species and its reproductive sites from habitat loss, in coexistence with human activities. Implement plans and develop effective wolf eco-tourism;
– detection and control of wolf-dog hybridization events and coordinate wolf captive facilities over the Alps and Italy;
– evaluate the genetic status of this new alpine population and support genetically important wolves with eco-tourism campaigns;
– awareness campaigns for the general public, locals, hunters, and livestock owners on the ways of coexistence between wolf and human activities: educational programs with schools, web site, conferences;
– development of wolf alpine population level guidelines for optimal management and increase of
technical knowledge at the management level through thematic workshops.