Large carnivores Project

Large carnivores: spreading knowledge to educate about coexistence

The Cariplo Foundation, as part of the 2009 Funding programme “Educating for Sustainability” financed the Adamello Park, in partnership with the non-profit organization Legambiente Lombardia, for the project “Large carnivores: spreading knowledge to educate about coexistence.”
The Lombardy region plays an extraordinarily important role in making the creation of meta-populations of Wolf, Brown bear and Lynx possible in the Alps. Today, in fact, there are only isolated groups which must be able to interact with each other through the mutual exchange of individuals, thus contributing to greater genetic diversity and the construction of a common gene pool. In this sense, the central Alps will play a strategic role both as a linking and as a breeding and wintering area.
The presence of large carnivores is, however, almost always accompanied by damage, which at times may be considerable, to local economies related to the primary sector.
These events have a particularly strong impact also at an emotional level because of an underestimation of the phenomena by the local bodies in charge of managing these issues and due to the resulting insufficient commitment in educating, informing, creating awareness in and educating local communities and in the identification of means which could be useful for the prevention and compensation of damage.
The aim of the project is to change the perception of large carnivores in local communities and so to produce a change in behaviour which constitutes a direct or indirect threat to the conservation of the Wolf (Canis lupus), the Brown bear (Ursus arctos) and the Lynx (Lynx lynx) in the eastern sector of the Lombardy Alps, given that hostile behaviour by the local population is the main limiting factor in the already fragile dynamics of recolonization in progress.

Actions planned:

Set up and management of a programme of education, information and training aimed at local communities as a whole or in groups according to different selected targets.
Study and creation of an international website focused on best practices regarding the coexistence between large carnivores and local communities.
Set up and management of a programme of education, information and training targeted at Local Administrators
Set up and management of a programme of education, information and training aimed at hunters, breeders and farmers
Set up and management of a programme of education, information and training for the tourism sector.
Set up and management of a programme of education, information and training  for the communications sector (media)
Set up and management of a programme of education, information and training for educators (teachers)
Set up and management of a programme of education, information and training for tourists
Set up and management of a permanent programme of education, information and training at the Paspardo Wildlife Centre in the Adamello Park.
Management of research on the perception of large carnivores in the study area before and after the education programme.

A dedicated website was also created as part of the project: www.grandicarnivori.it

Monitoring of the bear (Ursus arctos) and wolf (Canis lupus)

The Adamello is conducting, in collaboration with the Associazione Uomo e Territorio Pro Natura, a project monitoring the bear (Ursus arctos) and the wolf (Canis lupus); the project began on 19th October  2011 and involves the identification and monitoring of 18 transects on snow for snow-tracking and phototrap activities.

The study area coincides with Park territory and some adjoining areas of Vallecamonica where the bear was present in 2011.