Damage prevention news

One year of activity of the WPIU Wolf Prevention Intervention Units and new information materials

12 July 2022

Livestock damage is one of the main causes of conflict between humans and large carnivores. The negative attitude at the local level of livestock entrepreneurs towards the presence of wolves is often due to the difficulty of finding tools to prevent attacks on livestock and the lack of assistance in dealing with compensation claims and access to available funds.

Experience has shown that the constant availability and presence when needed of personnel capable of providing assistance to livestock keepers is effective in ensuring that livestock keepers do not feel abandoned or even regarded as less important than the wolf. It is for this purpose that the LIFE WolfAlps EU project has established the Wolf Prevention Intervention Units (WPIUs). This tool is used to respond effectively to the need for assistance of professional and amateur wolf breeders.

One year after the formation of the first 21 WPIUs, there are now a total of 42 in the Alps, of which 28 in Italy, 2 in France, 7 in Slovenia and 5 in Austria. In Piedmont, the 16 teams present are made up of personnel from the Veterinary Services SSN, military from the Carabinieri Forestry Corps, provincial police officers and the Metropolitan City of Turin, and park personnel. They intervene to support professional and amateur breeders in the prevention of attacks, specifically in finding and setting up prevention systems, in assisting access to compensation measures and support for prevention, and in the correct use of guard dogs.

There are four WPIUs in Liguria, one in each province, Valle d’Aosta three, four in Lombardy and one in the Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park.

In order to spread information on prevention and compensation more widely, an information poster was produced and disseminated specifically for the regional territories participating in the LIFE WolfAlps EU project with the necessary references for support before and after a predation and on how to obtain compensation.

The posters can be downloaded at the following links: Poster WPIU Regione Liguria, Regione Lombardia, Parco Nazionale Dolomiti Bellunesi, territorio Piemontese, in particular for Aree Protette dell’Appennino Piemontese, and Austria.

Additional posters will be available for more territories!

WPIUs in Piedmont

A coordination meeting of the Piedmont teams took place in Avigliana (TO) on May 11th. To date, the teams count 215 trained operators who, in one year of activity, have provided assistance to 161 farmers and distributed 129 prevention systems. The objective of the meeting was to identify the critical points encountered and the strengths in order to improve operation and coordination. The support of the Sustainable Development, Biodiversity and Natural Areas Sector and the Agricultural and Livestock Production Sector of the Piedmont Region was crucial.

The new calls for tenders of the Piedmont Region that will be available soon for damage compensation and support to those using prevention systems were also illustrated.

All details and much more can be found on the updated site Centro di Referenza Regionale per i Grandi Carnivori.