Supported bylogo-aispa

Project “A passage for the bear”

Helping the bear recolonise its natural habitat

 

1. Presentation

The population of brown bears in the Italian central Apennines has referred to as an endemic subspecies with the name Ursus arctos marsicanus (Altobello, 1921), based on morphologic and genetic diversity (Loy et al. 2008). One of the key threats to its existence is direct persecution due to conflicts with farmers. The project “A passage for the bear” consists of a set of conservation interventions to prevent conflicts between humans and bears and educate the local communities on how to co-exist with bears.

2. Areas of intervention

This project is particularly focused on the peripheral range of the Marsican brown bear according to PATOM cartography, which is critically important to promote the re-colonisation process and ensure the persistence of this subspecies. These lands connect the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise NP (ALMNP), hosting all reproductive females, to large suitable and protected areas, such as the Majella NP (MNP), Simbruini Regional Park and Sirente Velino Regional Park.


3. Strategies

The main actions, proposed in this project, include:

  • Identify any signs of the presence of bears in suitable areas using various wildlife monitoring techniques (transects, genetic analysis in agreement with Nationaloverturned-boulder Parks, observations from a distance, camera trapping in non-monitored areas) and listen to local people’s reports to prevent damages and conflicts;
  • secure livestock and beehives at higher risk of bear predation through provision of electric fences;
  • provision of bear-proof waste bins where strictly needed;
  • production and publication of a best-practice manual for building a “Bear smart community” in areas of potential recolonization;
  • public events to: distribute the manual; maximize uptake regarding information for best practice’s; strengthen the support for the project; and build a local, lasting capacity to co-exist with bears;
  • monitoring of the impacts of our activities by reporting bear damages and bear frequentation.

4. Tactics

bear-hairSalviamo l’Orso (SLO) volunteers are implementing the main actions utilising specific skills and competences, such as students or graduates in Conservation Biology – i.e. the English students from Plymouth University – under the supervision of highly experienced members. Monitoring is essential to detect bear passages and implement proactive measures such as securing livestock and prevent conflicts with local communities. hair-samplingMoreover, this action is fundamental to collect georeferenced data on bear distribution for promoting habitat conservation and oppose infrastructural projects which may lead to fragmentation of suitable areas. This project wants to carry out an innovative, proactive bear management approach by securing farms and food-conditioning sources prior to direct interactions with this species, and instructing local communities about its habits and best practices for a peaceful coexistence.

Skilful members are collecting and analysing data before and after the project actions in order to identify the population trends outside national parks.

Salviamo l’Orso is organising crowdfunding initiatives to raise funds for bear damage reimbursement and purchase of additional
electric fences and their components
(link to A passage for the bear fund).

Annual reports

Introduction

Thanks to a 7,000 GBP donation from AISPA for the project A passage for the Bear, last year Salviamo l’Orso (SLO) was able to carry out the following actions:

1. Identification of signs of presence in suitable areas by wildlife monitoring (transects, collection of samples for genetic analysis in agreement with National Parks, camera trapping in non-monitored areas) according to local people’s reports to prevent damages and conflicts;
2. secure livestock and beehives at higher risk of bear predation through provision of electric fences;
3. production and publication of a best-practice manual for building a “Bear smart community” in areas of fresh and imminent expansion;
4. public events to disseminate the manual, maximize uptake of the best-practice, strengthen the support for the organization and the project, and build a local, lasting capacity to co-exist with bears;
5. monitoring of the impacts of our activities through reporting bear damage and bear frequentation.

Consistently with the project goals and grant received (7,000 GBP = 78,65% of the 8,900 GBP budget requested), the actions listed above were considered as priorities, while provision of bear-proofs waste bins (action no. 4 of our 2016’s proposal) was delayed, since no more waste collection points, apart from those already secured in Rocca Pia in 2015, has been so far identified. The costs planned in the 2016’s proposal were adapted to the budget available.

Follows a detailed description of the actions implemented in 2016, according to the above list.

 

Actions

1. Identification of signs of presence

Thanks to their volunteer, in particular the Erasmus students from Plymouth university who were a consistent workforce, SLO was able to monitor a vast peripheral area of the Marsican home range which has a key importance to enforce conservations policies, such as that between the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park (ALMNP), the Majella National Park (MNP) and the Sirente Velino Regional Park (SVRP). Specifically, SLO volunteers operated in the wildlife corridor including the municipal territories of Anversa degli Abruzzi (where they were based), Villalago, Cocullo, Goriano Sicoli, Tione degli Abruzzi, Bugnara, Introdacqua, Sulmona, Rocca Pia, Pettorano sul Gizio and Ortona dei Marsi in Abruzzo Region, while monitoring were conducted also in Molise Region, including the municipal territories of Pescopennataro, Capracotta, San Pietro Avellana, Vastogirardi, and in Lazio  Region, in the municipal territory of Pescosolido. The action performed can be summed up as follows:

1.1 Transects for search of bear signs of presence
In the period March-December 2016, the volunteers covered the above-mentioned areas for about 1,600 hours of field-monitoring, during which they reported bear signs of presence as hair, scat and pawprints.

1.2 Wildlife observations

In the period March-November the volunteers carried out also wildlife observations at a distance by binoculars with a frequency of twice a week. No bear was observed in Abruzzo, while a bear was observed and monitored by our local volunteers in Lazio, in the ALMNP buffer zone. In August-September 4 groups of 4 volunteers each took part to the bear females with cubs countFWC– (see Ph. 1) in the ALMNP under the supervision of the NP’s Scientific Department, reporting direct observations of a total amount of 18 bears and even of a female with a cub.
A female with two cubs was reported by shepherds in the mountains between ALMNP and MNP – but the volunteers could not find any evidence, despite their remarkable efforts of observations, transects and use of trail cameras.

1.3 Trail cameras
Passive monitoring was carried out in the period March-December by 10 trail cameras which mainly took photos and videos of many species, in particular wild boar (Sus scrofa), red deer (Cervus elaphus), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), wolf (Canis lupus), fox (Vulpes vulpes), beech marten (Martes martes), wild cat (Felis silvestris), badger (Meles meles), porcupine (Hystrix cristata). Project trail cameras recorded bears only in Pescosolido (see Ph. 2). Two individuals, probably males, and even a female with a cub (see Ph. 3 of a standing cub), which included the family unit in the FWC, were recorded in September and duly reported to the ALMNP Scientific Service. A task force has been set up to catch another bear who had a broken snare tied around the throat (see Ph. 4).

1.4 Habitat conservation actions
In addition to the actions planned in our 2016’s proposal, the volunteers carried out also the following activities:

1.4.1 Road-kill monitoring on 4 road stretches in the area Anversa degli Abruzzi-Cocullo-Villalago, identifying wildlife passages and a bear crossing with collection of hair for genetic analysis. This evidence was consistent with direct observations of bears by citizens of Cocullo and Anversa degli Abruzzi, allowing to track a possible bear passage between the ALMNP and Sirente Velino Regional Park.

1.4.2 Cleaning of laybys and illegal dumps in Anversa degli Abruzzi, Villalago and Pettorano sul Gizio. In the last two locations this action was aimed to also reduce the risk of vehicle-wildlife collision by removing food leftovers which could attract scavengers, including bears and wolves (see 5). In Villalago more than 800 of plastic deer shelters used to protect a plantation of fruit trees for bears in 2013, were removed from the natural environment (see Ph. 6).

1.4.3 The volunteers also performed regular surveys of the Gole del Sagittario Nature Reserve, identifying criticalities such as illegal dumps, broken signals, vehicular traffic where forbidden. They even reported a dead deer in a snare (see Ph. 7) to the Nature Reserve authority and Italian Forestry Corpse which removed the carcass and the snare for further investigation.

 

2. Secure livestock and beehives at higher risk of bear predation through provision of electric fences

As stated in the 2016’s proposal, last year SLO purchased and built 8 electric fences for this project. All these fences were very effective and prevented bear damage to the secured properties.

Regular maintenance of all electric fences (see Ph. 8) ensured their best performance.

The fence built in Trevi nel Lazio (see Ph. 9) was an intervention after a bear damaged non-secure bee-hives, and it was performed in agreement with the Simbruini Mountains Regional Park, an area of strategic importance for the expansion of the bear populations towards Lazio mountains.

Most of the fences were set in Pettorano sul Gizio-Sulmona to secure properties from the raids of Peppina, a so-called “confident bear”. In the same area in 2014 a bear was shot dead by a farmer. For that reason, we considered securing small farms in that area as a priority.

 

3. Production and publication of a best-practice report

120 copies of a best practice report (see Ph. 10) were printed in November 2016 on the occasion of the “Festival of Hibernation” (Festa del Letargo in Italian) which was based in Anversa degli Abruzzi on 27th November last year. Around 500 people participated to this event, which was organised by SLO, Abruzzo WWF and the local association Dalla parte dell’Orso to inform local people about the effectiveness of best practices to ensure human-bear coexistence, and the fundamental role of environmental organisations to foster their dissemination. There was also a conference during which the report was distributed for free to the residents and participants.

In 2017 SLO intends to print and distribute for free hundreds of copies of a best practice manual which will be based on the Bear Smart Community Genzana’s best practice manual 2015 but made more generic and so extendable to the whole intervention area.

 

4. Public events

Public events to disseminate and maximize uptake of the best-practice, strengthen the support for the organisation and the project, and build a local, lasting capacity to co-exist with bears are listed below:

– 5th August 2016, the Monte Genzana Nature Reserve Festival in Pettorano sul Gizio;
– 27th November 2016, Festival of Hibernation in Anversa degli Abruzzi;
– 17th December 2016, Presentation of the best practices’ booklets (see Ph. 11).

The best practices booklet was presented and distributed on 27th November, while on – 17th December it was presented to the press.

 

5. Monitoring of the impacts of our activities through reports of bear’s damage and frequentation

No damage caused by bears was reported in the secured farms. That brought food-conditioned bears to move to non-secured areas where many attacks to livestock were reported. On one hand these conflicts with farmers frustrated our efforts to reduce human-bear conflicts and foster acceptance of bears, on the other hand the success so far obtained on a smaller scale proves, to the local communities and to the wider public, that coexistence with large carnivores is possible if the right measures are taken.

Considering that human perception of bears is negatively related to damage occurrence, our “imaginary” goal is to secure all farms in critical areas to eliminate all causes of conflicts – if we could only afford that.

Conclusions

Thanks to AISPA’s support, last year SLO was able to carry out an ambitious project involving three regions and several human communities. Somehow we have even exceeded the results planned in our 2016’s proposals and that could be achieved only thanks to the passion and commitment of our volunteers.

All this makes SLO optimistic on the real possibility to eliminate causes of human-bear conflicts in the intervention areas and makes us more and more committed to look for the economic resources to achieve this goal.

Introduction

Thanks to a total 9,000 GBP donation from AISPA for the project A passage for the Bear, last year Salviamo l’Orso (SLO) was able to carry out the following actions:

1. identification of signs of presence in suitable areas by wildlife monitoring (transects, genetic analysis in agreement with National Parks, wildlife observations, camera trapping in non-monitored areas) according to local people’s reports to prevent damages and conflicts;
2. secure livestock and beehives at higher risk of bear predation through provision of electric fences;
3. production and publication of a best-practice manual for building a “Bear smart community” in areas of new and imminent presence;
4. public events to disseminate the manual, maximize uptake of the best-practice, strengthen the support for the organization and the project, and build a local, lasting capacity to co-exist with bears;
5. monitor the impacts of our activities through reporting of bear damages and bear frequentation.

SLO spent more than 3,000 pounds of in-kind contribution and 1,878.32 of the AISPA donation on action 1; 1,500 in-kind and 7,121.68 of the granted budgets on action 2; 282,13 on action 3, while public events and monitoring actions under points 4 and 5 did not require any expenditure, but only volunteer work. Please find attached a pdf document with the invoices of all the project expenditures.

The necessity to prevent damage from three food-conditioned bears suggested shifting part of the budget planned for monitoring activities to securing livestock and beehives. We borrowed a telescope for wildlife observations from our friend association Altura, so we did not need to buy any. However, SLO bought 6 pairs of binoculars for the English volunteers.

It follows a more detailed explanation of why, how, where we implemented every single action.

 

Actions

1. Identification of signs of presence

SLO volunteers mainly investigated the core and peripheral range (see Ph. 1) of the Marsican brown bear outside national parks. In particular, the volunteers focused on the wildlife corridors between the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park (ALMNP) and its Buffer Zone, the Majella National Park (MNP), the Sirente Velino Regional Park (SVRP) and the Simbruini Mountains Regional Park (SMRP). In the period March-November, monitoring activities involved on average 6 people a month for a mean of 10 days. Considering a mean of 5 hours every monitoring session, we estimated an effort of 2,700 hours! That was possible thanks to the precious contribution of the Erasmus students from Plymouth university. Specifically, SLO volunteers operated in the wildlife corridor including the municipal territories of Anversa degli Abruzzi (where they were based), Villalago, Cocullo, Goriano Sicoli, Tione degli Abruzzi, Bugnara, Introdacqua, Sulmona, Rocca Pia, Pettorano sul Gizio, Morino, Civitella Roveto and Ortona dei Marsi in Abruzzo Region. SLO local members monitored wild areas in the municipal territories of Pescopennataro, Capracotta, San Pietro Avellana, Vastogirardi in the Molise Region, and Pescosolido, Campoli Appennino, Alvito, Trevi and Picinisco in the Lazio Region. The performed action can be summed up as follows:

1.1 Transects for search of bear signs of presence and collection of samples for genetic analysis

In the period March-November 2017, the volunteers covered the above-mentioned areas. They detected more than 70 signs of bears presence in Abruzzo, more than 60 in Lazio, while about 20 in Molise. The signs of presence can be roughly distinguished in 2/3 excrements (see Ph. 2) and 1/3 hairs. Because of change of guidelines, the volunteers collected only hairs samples (see Ph. 3) for genetic analysis.

1.2 Wildlife observations

In the period March-November, the volunteers carried out wildlife observations from a distance by binoculars with a frequency of twice a week. In Abruzzo, they observed 9 adults and 1 family unit (one female with two cubs) all in the ALMNP and its buffer zone. In Lazio, our volunteers observed and monitored 11 bears. In August-September, 3 groups of 4 volunteers each took part to the bear females with cubs countFWC– (see Ph. 4) in the ALMNP under the supervision of the NP Scientific Department, reporting direct observations of a total amount of 7 bears and even of two females with one and two cubs respectively.

1.3 Trail Camera

In the period March-December, SLO volunteers carried out passive monitoring by 14 trail cameras. They reported many species, in particular wild boar (Sus scrofa), red deer (Cervus elaphus), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), wolf (Canis lupus), fox (Vulpes vulpes), beech marten (Martes martes), wildcat (Felis silvestris), badger (Meles meles), porcupine (Hystrix cristata). Project trail cameras recorded 1 bear in Lazio and 2 in Molise (see Ph. 5). It is significant the lack of bear footage in Abruzzo, where the investigated areas had a lower density of bears compared to those in the other two regions.

1.4 Habitat conservation actions

In addition to the actions planned in our 2017’s proposal, the volunteers carried out also the following activities:

1.4.1 Roadkill mitigation measures: SLO’s volunteers carried out the maintenance of wildlife deterrent reflectors and replaced broken signage along road SR 83 Marsicana. They also recovered 3 underpasses of State Road 17 in the municipalities of Pettorano sul Gizio and Rocca Pia, cleaning them of waste and obstructive vegetation, to favour bio-permeability and reduce the risk of roadkill.

1.4.2 Cleaning of illegal dumps: the volunteers cleared some illegal dumps (mainly made of plastic waste) in the wild in the municipal territory of Pettorano sul Gizio.

1.4.3 Fire watch: on the 15th of August, our volunteers spotted a fire while monitoring the area of Monte Genzana, while on the 27th of August they reported and helped to extinguish a fire in Cocullo (see Ph. 6), during fire watch in a very dry summer plagued by arsonists. The volunteers helped the Monte Genzana Nature Reserve and the Gole del Sagittario Nature Reserve with fire watches from the 10th of August to the 10th of September.

 

2. Secure livestock and beehives at higher risk of bear predation through provision of electric fences

Last year, SLO purchased and built 8 electric fences, wrapped a chicken house in a strong metal fence and made two stables bear proof by setting 3 metal doors. Because of the high economic and environmental value of beehives, apiaries were a priority asset (see Ph. 7). All these prevention measures, along with their regular maintenance, proved highly effective and prevented bear damage to the secured properties.

Prevention of man-bear conflicts is a crucial conservation action to support the growth of the bear population. In the last years, a good birth rate – 11 and 12 cubs counted in 2016 and 2017 – combined with a reduction of mortality caused by the man – 1 individual dead in 2016 and 0 in 2017 – have probably led to this growth. SLO operated in areas outside National Parks and Nature Reserves with great success.

 

3. Production and publication of a best-practice manual

In April 2017, SLO printed 500 copies of a best practice manual and distributed them on public events to local communities and administrations to raise awareness about the importance of the bear and pave the way for a peaceful coexistence.

 

4. Public Events

Public events to disseminate and maximize uptake of the best-practice, strengthen the support for the organisation and the project, and build a local, lasting capacity to co-exist with bears are listed below:

– 15th December 2017, meeting in Avezzano to present the book “Ernico. Story of an Apennine bear” and SLO’s projects and results;
– 2rd September 2017, the “Bear’s Day” in Pescasseroli, a whole day dedicated to the Marsican brown bear with hikes, nature educational events, presentation of projects (see 8), screening of documentaries and live music;
– 4th June 2017, presentation of the itinerary photo exhibition “Marsican Brown Bear Life Snapshots”.

 

5. Monitoring the impact of our activities through reporting bear damage and frequentation

In 2017 SLO volunteers focused on prevention of bear damage in two areas, which are considered the main wildlife corridor between the ALMNP and the MNP:

A. The Sagittario river gorges;
B. The Mount Genzana massif and Gizio river valley.

Identifying unsecured farms, building, maintaining electric fences and other prevention measures consisted in a huge effort. This work proved highly effective with a serious reduction of damage compared to the years before in both the intervention areas, and a consequent movement of the food-conditioned bears (namely Gemma the bear in area A and Peppina in area B) to unsecured territories. If on the one hand it proves the effectiveness of this project, on the other, it demonstrates the difficulty to secure the vast distribution area.

 

Conclusions

The Marsican bear population trend is doubtlessly encouraging with a relatively high number of births in the last two years combined with extremely low mortality related to interactions with the man. Some bears were reported in areas where their presence had never been observed with the same frequency for a long time. After a bear went accidentally into a house in Villavallelonga on 29th July, the ALMNP extended damage prevention measures within its borders with dedicated funding from the Italian Ministry of the Environment. Thanks to the generous donation from AISPA, SLO could concentrate its efforts in the areas outside of national and regional parks. Nevertheless, the potential territory in need for protection is overly broad, and financial resources for securing all farms and apiaries would not be enough. The inadequateness of local communities to coexist with bears in areas of new presence of the species is particularly concerning, with possible conflicts occurring in the short-middle period. The dramatic evidence of this threat is the bear filmed by SLO volunteers with a snare around the throat and promptly reported to the ALMNP in 2016. The female, named Monachella, was captured by the scientific and veterinary staff of the Park in September 2017. After the wounds that the steel cable had inflicted on her were treated, she was immediately released, surviving the trap that was preventing her from eating properly and that would otherwise lead to a cruel death from malnutrition.

Introduction

Thanks to a total 10,000 GBP donation from AISPA for the project A passage for the Bear, last year Salviamo l’Orso (SLO) was able to carry out the following actions:

1. identification of signs of presence in suitable areas by wildlife monitoring (transects, genetic analysis in agreement with National Parks, wildlife observations, camera trapping in non-monitored areas) according to local people’s reports to prevent damage and conflicts;
2. secure livestock, beehives and fruit orchards at higher risk of bear predation through provision of 9 electric fences and 5 bear proof metal doors;
3. printing and distribution of a best-practice manual for building a “Bear smart community” in areas of fresh and imminent recolonization, such the Man & Biosphere Reserve Collemeluccio-Montedimezzo Alto Molise;
4. nature divulgation about the bear ecology and ethology, and public events to disseminate the manual, maximize uptake of the best-practice, strengthen the support for the organization and the project, and build a local, lasting capacity to co-exist with bears;
5. monitor the impacts of our activities through reporting of bear damages and bear frequentation. 

By this project, Salviamo l’Orso and AISPA are supporting the growth of the Marsican brown bear population. Their main strategy is to reduce conflicts with local activities and disseminate best practices of coexistence to promote the capacity of this critically endangered subspecies of the brown bear to reclaim suitable lands and extend its home range. In fact, a recent study conducted for the Italian Ministry of the Environment[1] has highlighted the importance of wildlife connection areas outside of national parks as natural “bridges” for bears to spread in the most suitable parts of the Central Apennines, which would have a carrying capacity of 300 bears at least altogether! Furthermore, genetic research[2] has proven the uniqueness of this subspecies, which probably went isolated from the rest of the European brown bear population 3,000-4,000 years ago, instead of 4-6 centuries as scientists previously believed. During this long period of isolation and constant interactions with the man, the Marsican bear developed its own morphological and behavioural characteristics.

However, habitat fragmentation, infrastructures, disturbance, poaching and other illegal activities, even unsecured water collection pits and wells, risk undermining this natural recolonization process and leading the remaining population to a higher inbreeding depression. With bears reported even outside of the current home range, the future scenario of operation for SLO and partners becomes unpredictable and makes preparatory actions, such as damage-prevention and sensitization, even more necessary. For this purpose, SLO has made a concerted effort to track and monitor bears’ activities outside protected areas and implement bear-smart measures in local communities.

Thanks to the help of the Erasmus Plus students and an increasing number of foreign and local volunteers, also in 2018 SLO operated tirelessly in the wildlife connection areas between national and regional parks and reserves. Electric fences and bear-proof metal doors were erected, leading to a dramatic reduction of damage with food-conditioned bears moving to unprotected areas or back to the wild. SLO volunteers also operated in Molise and Lazio, where they detected and collected many signs of the presence of bears. In autumn 2018, SLO met residents in San Pietro Avellana to make them aware about the best practices to coexist with bears, after the occurrence of raids from Peppina the bear and her three cubs, paving the way for a Bear Smart Community in the area of the Man & Biosphere Reserve Collemeluccio Montedimezzo Alto Molise.

 

Actions

1. Identification of signs of presence

SLO volunteers mainly investigated the core and peripheral range of the Marsican brown bear outside national parks. In particular, the volunteers focused on the wildlife corridors between the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park (ALMNP) and its Buffer Zone, the Majella National Park (MNP), the Sirente Velino Regional Park (SVRP) and the Simbruini Mountains Regional Park (SMRP). In the period March-November, monitoring activities involved on average 8 people a month for a mean of 10 days. Considering a mean of 5 hours every monitoring session, we estimated an effort of 3,600 hours. That was possible thanks to the precious contribution of the Erasmus students from foreign universities. Specifically, SLO volunteers operated in the wildlife corridor including the municipal territories of Anversa degli Abruzzi and Pettorano sul Gizio (where they were based), Villalago, Cocullo, Goriano Sicoli, Tione degli Abruzzi, Bugnara, Introdacqua, Sulmona, Rocca Pia, Castel di Sangro, Morino, Civitella Roveto, Trasacco, Luco dei Marsi, Collelongo, Bisegna, Balsorano and Ortona dei Marsi in Abruzzo Region. SLO’s local members monitored wild areas in the municipal territories of Pescopennataro, Capracotta, San Pietro Avellana, Vastogirardi, Castel del Giudice and Sant’Angelo del Pesco in the Molise Region, and Pescosolido, Campoli Appennino, Alvito, Trevi and Picinisco in the Lazio Region. The action performed can be summed up as follows:

1.1 Transects for search of bear signs of presence and collection of samples for genetic analysis

In the period March-November 2018, the volunteers covered the above-mentioned areas. They detected signs of presence of the bear in all the areas in which they have operated. At least 15 different samples of hairs were given to protected areas, which sent them to ISPRA (Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale) for genetic analysis. We have great expectations about some samples collected in the Gole del Sagittario Nature Reserve from a plum tree, which had some branches broken by a young bear. One of the project camera traps took interesting footage of the same bear returning several times to feed on the plums (Ph. 1). Probably this bear is a female, as there was no evidence of scrotum in the image. Only the genetic analysis will tell us the truth.

1.2 Wildlife observations

In the period March-November, the volunteers carried out wildlife observations from a distance by binoculars with a frequency of twice a week. In Abruzzo, they observed Gemma the bear up close in early June (Ph. 2), 3 undetermined adults and 1 family unit (one female with two cubs) all in the ALMNP and its buffer zone. In Lazio, our volunteers observed and monitored 3 bears (the same female with two cubs as in Abruzzo). In August-September, 5 groups of 4 volunteers each took part to the bear females with cubs countFWC – in the ALMNP under the supervision of the NP Scientific Department, reporting direct observations of a total of 9 bears and of the above-mentioned female with two cubs. Unfortunately, on October 15 this family unit fell in a water collection pit with smooth high vertical walls and no way out, where they all drowned.

1.3 Trail cameras

In the period March-October, SLO volunteers carried out passive monitoring by 24 trail cameras, including the 3 cameras bought thanks to AISPA’s grant. They reported many species, in particular wild boar (Sus scrofa), red deer (Cervus elaphus), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), wolf (Canis lupus), fox (Vulpes vulpes), beech marten (Martes martes), wildcat (Felis silvestris), badger (Meles meles), porcupine (Hystrix cristata) and even an Apennine chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica ornata). Project trail cameras recorded at least 3 different bears in Abruzzo (Ph. 3). Differently from last year, no footage of bears has been recorded either in Lazio or in Molise. That is due to ill-functioning of a camera trap in Molise, change of habits of bears in an area where an electric fence has been erected and a reduced passive monitoring effort in Lazio.

1.4 Habitat conservation actions
In addition to the actions planned in our 2018’s proposal, the volunteers carried out also the following activities, some of them also included in the project “Let’s take action for the bear”:

1.4.1 Pruning 194 fruit trees in abandoned orchards to improve food sources for bears in mountain areas outside the small towns of Pettorano sul Gizio and Rocca Pia.
1.4.2 Setting up 680 wildlife warning reflectors along 20.6 kilometres of State Road 17 to enhance bio-permeability and reduce the risk of wildlife-vehicle collisions.
1.4.3 Removing 10,666 m of barbed and smooth wire, equal to 4,400 m of fence, from the mountains between Villalago, Bisegna, Anversa degli Abruzzi and Ortona dei Marsi to improve habitat permeability and natural landscape.
1.4.4 Cleaning of illegal dumps: the volunteers cleared some illegal dumps (mainly made of plastic waste) in the wild in the municipal territory of Pettorano sul Gizio.

 

2. Secure livestock and beehives at higher risk of bear predation through provision of electric fences

Last year, SLO purchased and built 9 electric fences (Ph. 4) and made 5 stables bear proof by setting 6 metal doors (Ph. 5). All these prevention measures, along with their regular maintenance, proved very effective and prevented bear damage to the secured properties.

Prevention of man-bear conflicts is a crucial conservation action to support the growth of the bear population. In the last years, a good birth rate – 11, 12 and again 11 cubs counted in 2016, 2017 and 2018 have probably led to this growth and, consequently, to an increase of food-conditioned bears in the ALMNP and its buffer zone. SLO intervened in the adjacent areas with great success, and even helped the ALMNP authority to manage some problem-bears within the Park borders.

 

3. Production and publication of a best-practice manual

In April 2018, SLO printed 2,500 copies of a best practice manual and distributed them on public events to local communities and administrations to raise awareness about the importance of bear’s conservation and pave the way for a peaceful coexistence with this species. Particularly important is the sensitizing action in the area of San Pietro Avellana, where the bear called Peppina and her three cubs raided several chicken coops. A collaboration with Rewilding Europe allowed us to secure this area by electric fences and bear proof metal doors, complementing the work done with AISPA.

 

4. Public events

Public events to disseminate and maximize uptake of the best-practice, strengthen the support for the organization and the project, and build a local, lasting capacity to co-exist with bears are listed below:

– 23rd January 2018, meeting with the entrepreneurs of Pettorano sul Gizio to create a bear-smart awareness and local brand;
– 15th July 2018, public event in Pescasseroli with a stand and a hike in the “Bear’s Lands”;
– 17th August 2018, public event with a hike and a guided tour of the “Bear’s Museum” in Pizzone;
– 20th October 2018, meeting with the local community of San Pietro Avellana in Molise (Ph. 6).

4.1 Nature divulgation

This activity was mainly based in the Bear’s Museum of Pizzone, but some meetings with schools took place also in the areas of Peligna Valley (Sulmona, Pratola Peligna, Pettorano sul Gizio).

 

5. Monitoring the impact of our activities through reporting bear damage and frequentation

In 2018 SLO volunteers focused on prevention of bear damage in two main areas, which are considered the main wildlife corridor between the ALMNP and the MNP:

A. The Sagittario river gorges;
B. The Mount Genzana massif and Gizio river valley.

Identifying unsecured farms, building, maintaining electric fences and other prevention measures consisted in a huge effort. This work proved highly effective with a serious reduction of damage compared to the years before in both the intervention areas, and a consequent movement of the food-conditioned bears (namely Gemma the bear in area A and Peppina in area B) to unsecured territories. If on the one hand it proves the effectiveness of this project, on the other, it demonstrates a) the need for the human communities to uptake the best practices of coexistence with the bear and prevent conflicts, b) the difficulty to secure a vast distribution area, including the territories of recent expansion.

However, last year SLO did similar work in the Giovenco, Alto Sangro, Mainarde and Marsica areas to minimize the conflicts also with the bears Amarena, Giacomina, Liberata and Mario, respectively. We can say that SLO has helped the territorial institutions involved with the management of all the so-called “problem” bears – four females and a male.

 

6. Costs

The matching fund from SLO and their partners (Rewilding Europe above all) made possible to go beyond the expected achievements.

 

 

Conclusions

The Marsican bear population’s trend is doubtlessly encouraging with a relatively high number of births in the last two years combined with low mortality related to interactions with the man. Some bears were reported in areas where their presence had rarely been observed, such as the surrounding of Anversa degli Abruzzi, in the Gole del Sagittario Nature Reserve. At least 3 different bears were recorded by the project camera traps. Only genetic analysis will tell us if the young bear frequenting Anversa degli Abruzzi in July-August 2018 is a female and a different individual from one of those filmed in the Monte Genzana Nature Reserve in the same period. Thanks to the generous donation from AISPA, SLO could concentrate its efforts in the areas outside of national and regional parks. Nevertheless, the potential territory in need for protection is huge, and financial resources for protecting all farms and apiaries would not be enough. The inadequateness of local communities to coexist with bears in some areas of the species’ expansion is particularly concerning, with possible conflicts occurring in the short-middle period. That is why the information effort must be strengthened and planned for a wider scenario.

SLO is facing the challenge to promote the growth of the bear population as well as the acceptance of local communities towards this species, before the insurgence of tensions and poaching events in retaliation. The finding and removal of an armed trap (Ph. 8) near a damaged farm reminds us as this threat is always actual. AISPA’s support makes us more confident to win this challenge. The death of a female bear and her two cubs, which drowned in an unsecured water collection pit in a corridor between the ALMNP and the Simbruini Mountains Regional Park in October 2018, has frustrated the good job we were doing, urging us to also address this threat and provide the Marsican bear with a safer passage.

_____________

[1]Ciucci P., L. Maiorano, L. Chiaverini, M. Falco. (2016). Aggiornamento della cartografia di riferimento del PATOM su presenza e distribuzione potenziale dell’orso bruno marsicano nell’Appennino centrale. Azione A2: Relazione tecnica finale. Ministero dell’Ambiente e della Tutela del Territorio e del Mare e Unione Zoologica Italiana, Roma. 84 pp.
[2]Andrea Benazzo et al. (2017), Survival and divergence in a small group: the extraordinary genomic history of the endangered Apennine brown bear stragglers.

Introduction

Thanks to a total 10,000 GBP donation from AISPA for the project A passage for the Bear, last year Salviamo l’Orso (SLO) was able to carry out the following actions:

1. identification of signs of presence in suitable areas by wildlife monitoring (transects, genetic analysis in agreement with National Parks, wildlife observations, camera trapping in non-monitored areas) according to local people’s reports to prevent damage and conflicts;
2. secure livestock, beehives and fruit orchards at higher risk of bear predation through provision of 12 electric fences and 6 bear proof metal doors;
3. nature divulgation about the bear ecology and ethology, and public events to maximize uptake of the best-practices, strengthen the support for the organization and the project, and build a local, lasting capacity to co-exist with bears;
4. make 6 water wells safe preventing wildlife falling and drowning in them;
5. monitor the impacts of our activities through reporting of bear damages and bear frequentation.

By this project, Salviamo l’Orso and AISPA are supporting the growth of the Marsican brown bear population. Their main strategy is to reduce conflicts with local activities and disseminate best practices of coexistence to promote the capacity of this critically endangered subspecies of the brown bear to reclaim suitable lands and extend its home range. In fact, a recent study conducted for the Italian Ministry of Environment[1] has highlighted the importance of wildlife connection areas outside national parks as natural “bridges” for bears to spread in the most suitable parts of the Central Apennines, which would have a carrying capacity of 300 bears at least altogether! Furthermore, genetic research[2] has proven the uniqueness of this subspecies, which probably went isolated from the rest of the European brown bear population 3,000-4,000 years ago, instead of 4-6 centuries as scientists previously believed. During this long period of isolation and constant interactions with the man, the Marsican bear developed its own morphological and behavioural characteristics.

However, habitat fragmentation, infrastructures, disturbance, poaching and other illegal activities, even unsecured water collection pits and wells, risk undermining this natural recolonization process and leading the remaining population to a higher inbreeding depression. With bears reported even outside the current home range, the future scenario of operation for SLO and partners becomes unpredictable and makes preparatory actions, such as damage-prevention and education, even more necessary. For this purpose, SLO has made a concerted effort, although not always rewarding, to track and monitor bears’ activities outside protected areas and implement bear-smart measures in local communities.

Thanks to the help of Erasmus Plus students and an increasing number of foreign and local volunteers, in 2019 SLO operated tirelessly in the wildlife connection areas between national and regional parks and reserves. Twelve electric fences and six bear-proof metal doors were erected, and six water wells were made safe by metal grids.

 

Actions

1. Monitoring activities

About 60 SLO’s volunteers (28 foreigners and the rest Italians) mainly investigated the core and peripheral range of the Marsican brown bear outside protected areas. In particular, the volunteers focused on the wildlife corridors connecting the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park (ALMNP) and its Buffer Zone to the Majella National Park (MNP), the Sirente Velino Regional Park (SVRP) and the Simbruini Mountains Regional Park (SMRP). In the period March-November 2019, monitoring activities involved on average 10 people a month for a mean of 12 days. Considering a mean of 5 hours every monitoring session, we estimated an effort of 5,400 hours in nine months. That was possible thanks to the precious contribution of the Erasmus students from English, Belgian, Dutch, German universities. Specifically, SLO volunteers operated in the wildlife corridor including the municipal territories of Pettorano sul Gizio and Anversa degli Abruzzi (where they were based).

They detected signs of presence of the bear in all the areas in which they have operated. At least 12 different samples of hair were given to the staff of protected areas for genetic analysis, which are still in progress.

1.1 Wildlife observations

In the period March-November, the volunteers carried out also wildlife observations from a distance by binoculars with a frequency of twice a week, observing bears on 15 different occasions. In August-September, 5 groups of 4 volunteers each took part to the bear females with cubs countFWC – in the ALMNP under the supervision of the NP Scientific Department, reporting direct observations of two females with three cubs (Ph. 1), one with two and one with one. 

1.2 Trail cameras
In the period March-October, SLO volunteers carried out passive monitoring by 30 trail cameras, including the 3 cameras bought thanks to AISPA’s grant in 2018. They reported many species, in particular wild boar (Sus scrofa), red deer (Cervus elaphus), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), wolf (Canis lupus), fox (Vulpes vulpes), beech marten (Martes martes), wildcat (Felis silvestris), badger (Meles meles), porcupine (Hystrix cristata). Project trail cameras recorded at least 5 different bears.

1.3 Habitat conservation actions
In addition to the actions planned in our 2018’s proposal, the volunteers carried out also the following activities:

1.3.1 Pruning 521 fruit trees in abandoned orchards to maintain food sources for bears in mountain areas outside the small towns of Pettorano sul Gizio, Ortona dei Marsi and Bisegna.
1.3.2 Removing 65,000 m of barbed and smooth wire, equal to 24,000 m of fence, from the mountains between Villalago, Bisegna, Cocullo, Gioia dei Marsi and Ortona dei Marsi to improve habitat permeability and natural landscape.
1.3.3 Cleaning of illegal dumps: the volunteers cleared some illegal dumps (mainly made of plastic waste) in the wild in the municipal territory of Pettorano sul Gizio.

 

2. Secure livestock and beehives at higher risk of bear predation through provision of electric fences

Last year, SLO purchased and built 9 electric fences (Ph. 2) and made 5 stables bear proof by setting 6 metal doors (Ph. 3). All these prevention measures, along with their regular maintenance, proved effective and prevented bear damage to the secured properties.

Prevention of man-bear conflicts is a crucial conservation action to support the growth of the bear population. In the last years, excellent birth rates – 11, 12, 11 cubs and 20! counted in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 have probably led to this growth. SLO intervened in the adjacent areas with great success, and even helped the ALMNP authority to manage some problem-bears within the Park borders.

 

3. Public events and nature education

Public events to disseminate and maximize uptake of the best-practice, strengthen the support for the organisation and the project, and build a local, lasting capacity to co-exist with bears took place mainly in the Bear Museum in Pizzone (Ph. 4),

but even in towns and cities of the Regions involved (Ph. 5).

 

4. Monitoring the impact of our activities through reporting bear damage and frequentation

In 2019 SLO volunteers focused on prevention of bear damage in two main areas, which are considered the main wildlife corridor between the ALMNP and the MNP:

A. Marsica area;
B. Peligna Valley.

To identify unsecured farms, build, maintain electric fences and other preventive measures consisted in a huge effort. This work proved effective with a serious reduction of damage compared to the years before in both the intervention areas, and a consequent movement of the food-conditioned bears (namely Mario the bear in area A and Peppina in area B) to unsecured territories. However, after some damages occurred in unsecured places, such as Gioia dei Marsi, preventive measures were extended also to these places and conflicts ceased.

 

5. Water wells

In April 2019, soon after the thaw, Salviamo l’Orso made six wells safe by resistant metal grids in Villalago on the borders of the ZPE of ALMNP. These structures had been located during barbed wire removal operations. Blacksmith Mario Schiappa did the safety work (Ph. 6).

In the meantime, even the well at “Le Fossette”, responsible for the death of five bears, including four females between 2010 and 2018, was definitively secured by a construction company at service of the Sipari family, the owners of the land, who filled it with earth and stones.

 

6. Costs

Costs were allocated in different ways as budgeted because preventive measures were more needed, while educational activities costed just travel reimbursements, being the most of these initiatives voluntarily based. The financial contribution from SLO and their partners (Rewilding Europe and The European Nature Trust above all) made it possible beyond what budgeted and the donation received.

 

 

Conclusions

The Marsican bear population trend is doubtlessly encouraging with 20 cubs born in 2019 (the largest number ever recorded since the beginning of the counts). Unfortunately, two adult females were killed by cars, one in August near Rionero Sannitico, and another in December near Castel di Sangro. Some bears were reported in areas where their presence had rarely been observed before, even mothers with cubs, such as the surrounding of Anversa degli Abruzzi, in the Gole del Sagittario Nature Reserve, or Civita d’Antino and Sante Marie. At least 5 different bears were recorded by the project camera traps. In November, one of these bears – the female called Barbara – was caught and radio-collared by the staff of the Monte Genzana Alto Gizio Nature Reserve, the Majella NP and the ALMNP in one of the unused fruit orchards which were restored by SLO. Thanks to the generous donation from AISPA, SLO could concentrate its efforts in the areas outside of national and regional parks. Nevertheless, the potential territory in need for protection is huge, and financial resources for securing all farms and apiaries are never enough. SLO is facing the challenge to promote the growth of the bear population as well as the acceptance of local communities towards this species. AISPA’s support makes us more confident to win this challenge and provide the Marsican bear with a safer passage.

__________

[1]Ciucci P., L. Maiorano, L. Chiaverini, M. Falco. (2016). Aggiornamento della cartografia di riferimento del PATOM su presenza e distribuzione potenziale dell’orso bruno marsicano nell’Appennino centrale. Azione A2: Relazione tecnica finale. Ministero dell’Ambiente e della Tutela del Territorio e del Mare e Unione Zoologica Italiana, Roma. 84 pp.
[2]Andrea Benazzo et al. (2017), Survival and divergence in a small group: the extraordinary genomic history of the endangered Apennine brown bear stragglers.

Introduction

Thanks to an 8,000 GBP donation from AISPA for the project A passage for the Bear – helping the bear to reclaim suitable areas, in 2020 Salviamo l’Orso (SLO) was able to carry out the following actions:

1. identification of signs of presence in suitable areas by wildlife monitoring (transects, collection of samples for genetic analysis in agreement with protected areas, wildlife observations, camera trapping);
2. prevention of bear damage to livestock, beehives and fruit orchards at higher risk of bear predation through provision of 10 electric fences;
3. production of a documentary and 5 short videos by the young Cypriot filmmaker Constantinos Christou;
4. meetings with about 20 pupils each in a summer camp for nature education activities in Pescolanciano and Sessano;
5. Safety works at 6 water wells to prevent wildlife falling and drowning in them.

By this project, Salviamo l’Orso and AISPA are supporting the growth of the Marsican brown bear population. Their main strategy is to reduce conflicts with local activities and disseminate best practices of coexistence to promote the capacity of this critically endangered subspecies of the brown bear to reclaim suitable lands and extend its distribution range.

Thanks to the help of Erasmus Plus students and a group of foreign and local volunteers, despite COVID-19 restrictions but in full compliance with them, in 2020 SLO operated tirelessly in the wildlife connection areas between national and regional parks and reserves.

 

Actions

1. Monitoring activities

About 35 SLO’s volunteers (11 foreigners and the rest Italians) mainly investigated the core and peripheral range of the Marsican brown bear outside national parks. In particular, the volunteers focused on the wildlife corridors connecting the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park (ALMNP) and its Buffer Zone (ZPE) to the Simbruini Mountains Regional Park (SMRP), the Majella National Park (MNP) and the Sirente Velino Regional Park (SVRP). In the period May-December 2020 (two months later than usual because of COVID-19 lockdowns), monitoring activities involved on average 8 people a month for a mean of 12 days. Considering a mean of 5 hours every monitoring session, we estimated an effort of 3,840 hours in eight months. That was possible thanks to the precious contribution of the Erasmus students from Dutch, French, German universities. Due to lockdown in the UK, in 2020 we had only a British volunteer from Scotland. The volunteers were based in Gioia dei Marsi (at SLO headquarter) and in Pettorano sul Gizio, in the accommodations of the Monte Genzana Regional Nature Reserve.

They detected 226 signs of presence of the bear in all the project areas and contributed to collect 14 samples of hair for genetic analysis, which are still in progress.

1.1 Wildlife observations

In the period May-December, the volunteers carried out also wildlife observations from a distance by binoculars with a frequency of twice a week, observing bears on 34 different occasions. Because of COVID, the annual bear females with cubs count (FWC) in the ALMNP, under the supervision of the NP Scientific Department, was cancelled. However, SLO’s volunteers observed Amarena the bear with her 4 cubs (Ph. 1) 24 times in the Gole del Sagittario and Valle del Giovenco, while a female with a cub was reported in Lazio’s ZPE. Few days after other 2 bears were observed in that location, probably the same female followed by a male, which could potentially have killed the cub.

1.2 Trail cameras

In the period March-October, SLO volunteers carried out passive monitoring by 30 trail cameras, including the 3 cameras bought thanks to AISPA’s grant in 2018. They reported many species (2,436 records), in particular wild boar (Sus scrofa), red deer (Cervus elaphus), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), wolf (Canis lupus), fox (Vulpes vulpes), beech marten (Martes martes), wildcat (Felis silvestris), badger (Meles meles), porcupine (Hystrix cristata). Project trail cameras recorded at least 6 different bears.

Le fototrappole del progetto hanno rilevato la presenza di almeno 6 orsi diversi.

1.3 Habitat conservation actions

In addition to the actions planned in our 2020’s proposal, the volunteers carried out also the following activities:

1.3.1 Pruning 60 fruit trees in abandoned orchards to improve food sources for bears in mountain areas outside the small towns of Pettorano sul Gizio, Bisegna and Tione degli Abruzzi. 170 fruit trees were planted, 70 in Bisegna and 100 in Ortona dei Marsi.
1.3.2 Removing 11,000 m of barbed and smooth wire from the mountains between Villalago, Bisegna, Cocullo, Gioia dei Marsi and Ortona dei Marsi to improve habitat permeability and natural landscape.
1.3.3 Cleaning of 12 illegal dumps: the volunteers cleared some illegal dumps (mainly made of plastic waste) in the wild in the municipal territory of Pettorano sul Gizio (Ph. 2) and Ortona dei Marsi.

 

2. Secure livestock, beehives, high-value orchards at higher risk of bear predation through damage prevention measures

In 2020, the following 10 electric fences were built (Ph. 3):

 

No.

Secured asset

Description

Area

1

Bees

Electric fence

Introdacqua

2

Bees

Electric fence

Introdacqua

3

Bees and fruit trees

Electric fence

San Donato Val di Comino

4

Fruit trees

Electric fence

Ortona dei Marsi

5

Sheep

Electric fence

Pescasseroli

6

Bees

Electric fence

Ortona dei Marsi

7

Chickens

Electric fence

Sulmona

8

Chickens

Electric fence

Sulmona

9

Fruit trees

Electric fence

Villalago

10

Sheep

Electric fence

Bugnara

 

All these prevention devices, along with their regular maintenance, proved highly effective and prevented bear damage to the secured properties.

 

3. Professional filmmaker to promote the project with 20 high-quality videos that will raise both AISPA and SLO’s profiles

Young filmmaker Constantinos Christou (Ph. 4) was in Italy from July to mid-November 2020. In this period, he focused on collecting footage for a longer documentary and 5 shorter videos for AISPA. The documentary, which is still under editing, will be entitled “Lands of the Bear”. It will be 30-40 minutes long. The short videos will be about: 1) fight against ski-resorts expansion at Monte Magnola, 2) restoration of unused fruit orchards, 3) works to make water wells safe, 4) volunteers’ monitoring activities, 5) SLO’s conservation actions.

 

4. Nature and bear education for schools’ students in the Marsican brown bear distribution range

At the end of August, Angela Tavone and Caterina Palombo, both nature educators and conservation biologists, met two groups of 20 pupils each, one in Pescolanciano (Ph. 5) and one in Sessano, to disseminate knowledge, best practices of coexistence and raise awareness about the importance of the conservation of the bear through activities in nature and with interactive methods. Apart from these events, in 2020 nature education was seriously limited by COVID-19 lockdowns. The Bear’s Museum in Pizzone was open every Sundays from June 28 to October 25 (18 opening days), involving 7 SLO volunteers (126 work hours in total) and 156 visitors.

 

5. Secure water wells, which may be a threat for wildlife

In 2020, 3 water wells were made safe in a permanent way, while other 3 were closed by removable metal plates as an aqueduct company still needs to work on them (see * in the table below). These wells could be a potential threat for bears and other wildlife species falling and drowning in them. It follows a table which sums up the main information about these interventions.

 

Safety work date

Name

Number of wells

Coord. (WGS 84 33 T)

Town

24/05/2020

Stazzo del Campo

1

405950

4633946

Scanno

31/05/2020

Callefrino

1

408109

4639276

Scanno

08/10/2020

Vallone di Iovana

3*

407998

4638984

Scanno

16/10/2020

Fonte la Scrella

1 (2 openings)

403059

4640996

Villalago

 

6. Costs

Costs were allocated in different ways as budgeted, prioritizing preventive measures, while educational activities were almost completely cancelled because of COVID.

 

 

Conclusions

Despite of COVID, SLO was able to host volunteers and deliver most of the activities planned at the beginning of 2020. The Marsican bear population trend is doubtlessly encouraging with no fatalities reported in 2020. With the cancellation of the annual female bears with cubs count, it was more difficult to estimate the number of cubs of the year. So far, the only certain reproduction event is the 4 cubs of Amarena. Compared to 2019’s data, the largest number ever recorded since the beginning of the counts, this reduction was expected. Anyway, in the next months the ALMNP scientific service will publish data from their monitoring and the official number of cubs of the year is highly likely to grow. At least 6 different bears were recorded by the project camera traps. 3 of them were filmed in Pettorano sul Gizio, confirming the area as one of the hotspots for the species in the region. Thanks to the generous donation from AISPA, SLO could concentrate its efforts in the areas outside of national and regional parks, having a strong impact especially in the reduction of human-bear conflicts, due to the extensive protection of livestock farms and apiaries which has been carried out since 2015.

campagna_passaggio_orso

Salviamo l’Orso works to create a peaceful coexistence between man and the bear. With your contribution, however big, you are helping us to provide farmers/inhabitants with the protection of electrified fences and the security of financial reimbursement following damages caused by the bear.

This action is a critical step for the protection and expansion of this species’ habitat. With your help we can do it!

Collected donations

€ 3,250.00 (already spent on the project actions)

(Updated on March, 2021)

 

 

 

 

We can do more. Help us by donating! Your contribution will be spent directly on the protection of the bear.

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