Communication Monitoring the Alpine wolf population Urban wolves

New update on recently radio-collared wolves in Liguria, Italy, and fake news!

11 March 2024

A video is currently circulating on the web of a wolf with a radiocollar filmed in a clearing near the municipality of Sassello, Italy. In the video, the animal has an intimidated attitude (ears down and tail between its legs) but remains within sight before running away. The shot was taken from a motorised vehicle, as is clear from the noise. Wolves, in fact, do not associate motor vehicles with people, and it is therefore normal that they do not necessarily react immediately by running away. It also happens with other wild animals, which become aware of human presence when a door is opened or a window is rolled down.

This is the wolf recovered on 24 January morning inside the gardens of the former ‘Pastorino’ hospital in Genoa Bolzaneto by the Liguria Region‘s environmental wildlife monitoring unit . We reported HERE that the animal had been fitted with a GPS radio-collar and immediately released in the high hills of the Genoa area. The animal had not shown any confident behaviour, it had probably ended up inside the hospital garden area accidentally, descending towards the valley at night from the wooded areas above the A7 motorway. When the technicians arrived, the animal appeared very frightened. Thanks to its radio collar, it was possible to monitor its movements: from that moment on, the wolf moved westwards, in an impervious area and, after having managed to cross the lower Polcevera Valley, it quickly made its way to the eastern part of the province of Savona, where it has been roaming for over a month now.

The wolf recovered last March 2023 in via Firenze in Savona, which we have already mentioned, also continues its movements mainly in lower Piedmont (in 6 months it has travelled over 1000 km!).

So both animals were recovered in urban settings and released with radio collars on high ground near the recovery point and have since frequented wooded and generally unurbanised areas. Neither animal has shown any problematic or bold behaviour to date. This confirms that wolves found within an urban environment, perhaps in difficulty like these two males recovered in Savona and Genoa, are not necessarily confidant or urban animals, but may have ended up accidentally trapped in that context during their explorations.

We have this information thanks to the work carried out by the technicians of the Liguria Region (partner in the LIFE WolfAlps EU project) who, through the application of radio-collars to wolves found in difficulty, monitor their movements in order to understand their ecology and verify the possible occurrence of confidant behaviour and take possible measures, as foreseen by the Operational Strategy for the documentation and management of cases of confidant wolves in the Alpine regions.

These are not conspiracies, only scientific surveillance and monitoring activities carried out by the competent bodies and within the framework of an international project.