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The economic value linked to the presence of the Marsican brown bear in the Central Apennines

4 Agosto 2023 | Non categorizzato

This is the title of the research that our volunteer Elena Parisi from the University of Florence is carrying out to analyse, through the administration of an online questionnaire, what is the general attitude of tourists and residents of the Municipalities bordering the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise towards the Marsican brown bear and, through some questions, to estimate each individual’s willingness to pay and the value attributed to the presence of the bear in the Central Apennines.

As an apex predator, the brown bear helps keep ecosystems healthy and food chains in balance. Its presence in the area can help raise the profile and attractiveness of a particular area, attracting nature and wildlife lovers from both Italy and abroad. The object of the study is therefore to generate an estimate of the value of the presence of the Marsican brown bear as a promoter of a tourist destination based on coexistence with wildlife.

The economic estimate obtained through the questionnaire, where participants are asked what sum they would be willing to pay or receive to improve bear conservation projects, will then be compared with the economic estimate of the damage caused by bears (sums for damage compensations paid by the various Bodies and Administrations) in the different Municipalities. The results will aim to highlight the socio-economic benefits provided by the bear to the territory and to the economy of mountainous areas which is often considered ‘marginal’, contributing to the discussions during meetings with institutional decision makers and stakeholders. In such a way the negative feelings that feed on the rare episodes of damage caused by the bear to human activities will be disproved, spreading instead a positive attitude towards the bear.

You too can contribute to the success of this research by scanning the QR code on the English image attached and fill in the questionnaire.