Monitoring the Alpine wolf population news

Avigliana, second training to new operators for national wolf monitoring in Piedmont

18 September 2020
Aree Protette Alpi Marittime

The training activity for wolf monitoring in Italy is getting to the heart. After the first day of training course organised on Monday 14ht September in Chiusa Pesio (CN) from the Coordinating Beneficiary Protected Areas of the Maritime Alps, on Tuesday 15th September the lessons moved to Avigliana (TO) with a second training day organised by partner Protected Areas of the Cottian Alps. In compliance with the measures to contain the contagion from SarsCov2, classroom training was held at the “Eugenio Fassino” Theatre, which the city of Avigliana kindly granted free of charge, sponsoring the initiative.

The objective of the theoretical and practical activities is to train the new operators who will be sent to the field during the first national monitoring of the wolf, coordinated by Ispra throughout Italy, which will start in October. As LIFE WolfAlps EU is in charge of the monitoring in the Alpine regions, the training day was addressed to the professional operators of the project partners and to a group of volunteers belonging to the associations of the territory. With a novelty: for the first time, in Piedmont the activities will be extended also to the foothills and lowland areas due to the slow but gradual expansion of the wolf population.

The course modules were held by LIFE WolfAlps EU technicians from the Large Carnivores Centre and by the staff of the Protected Areas of the Cottian Alps and the Metropolitan City of Turin. They have been divided into two parts: the theoretical frontal lesson and the practical outdoor session. The operators who will be called to the systematic surveys, applying the transects method, have been tried to provide the basic notions for a correct monitoring of the wolf presence: from the presentation of the sampling guidelines to information on biology and ethology of the animal, up to the recognition of the signs of presence of the species and the methodology for their correct sampling. From a practical point of view, the attention was focused on the morphology of the wolf, useful in case of sighting, and on its sign of presence (mainly scats). In addition, two specific focuses have been organised about georeferencing techniques and the effective use of phototraps. Finally, participants got to know Myrtille, an antipoison dog unit of the Metropolitan City of Turin, which is used to find the poisoned bites used by poachers.