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Damage prevention methods in Europe: experiences from LIFE nature projects

Associazione Teriologica Italiana
Publication Date
  • Wolf Damages
  • Life Nature
  • Damage Prevention
  • Agricultural Science
  • Political Science


Management of damage caused by wolf to domestic livestock is a crucial measure that must be part of an integrated management strategy. Despite the existence of responsible authorities for tackling such aspects, resources are often insufficient for addressing the complex issues. LIFE Nature projects represent a valid tool for the implementation of measures for wolf conservation as the species is included in the Annexes of the Habitat Directive as a priority species. In the last ten years, over 30 LIFE Nature projects targeting wolf conservation were financed by the EU. Measures adopted in the projects were largely consistent and coherent with the Action plan for the Conservation of Wolf in Europe published by the Council of Europe in 2000. The LIFE COEX project was implemented in Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and Croatia from 2004 to 2008, and represented an excellent example of international collaboration and amplification of knowledge and experiences of management measures adopted at different levels. Adapted to local conditions, the measures implemented achieved extremely positive results, particularly in areas where wolves are expanding. As an example, after installation of electric fences, the damage suffered by holdings from wolf attacks decreased by 100\% in Portugal, 99% in Spain and 58% in Italy. In France and Croatia measures were adopted for intersectoral involvement (tourism and agriculture), which have contributed to the development of a participatory approach for wolf management. The experiences acquired during the COEX project are in the process of being transferred to other places through the implementation of the LIFE EX-TRA and LIFE WOLFNET projects. The former involves Italy, Bulgaria, Greece and Romania, while the latter is implemented in three national parks in Italy. The results obtained are encouraging and future LIFE Nature Projects should capitalise on the experiences done, making use of studies and researches that will allow the maximisation of efficacy of adopted management measures.

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