Sirente-Velino - Urgent actions for Bear in the SIC of the Sirente-Velino Regional Park

LIFE98 NAT/IT/005114

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Edoardo ALONZO
Tel: 39/0862/916 343
Fax: 39/0862/916 018

Project description:


The Sirente-Velino regional nature park, encompassing mountain ranges, karst plateaus, broad valleys and a wide range of habitats, lies within the Mediterranean biogeographic region. The nine pSCIs defined within its perimeter make up a system of almost continuous ecological corridors which give an opportunity to intervene in various habitats on the basis of an integrated management model. A previous LIFE project carried out by the same beneficiary has already allowed an important corridor between the sites which are essential for the survival of the brown bear, to be improved.

The brown bear, symbol of the park and a biological indicator of environmental quality, is also the focus of this project. Its expansion throughout the area is hampered by the fragmentation of its habitats, the scarcity of food resources, poaching and disturbance from human activities. Finally, the insufficient information available on the need to protect bears has negative repercussions for the entire park, impeding initiatives in favour of its conservation.


The project's strategy was to reduce disturbance of the bears living inside the park and simultaneously launch a process to improve the ecological situation of sites used by the brown bear. Measures would seek to stabilize and broaden the range of sites suitable for Ursus arctos, with the idea of containing its movements within these more secure areas, as a counter to the urgent threats to which it was subjected.

Safeguarding and expanding ecological corridors, to be achieved through pruning, planting fruit trees and improving pastures, was to lessen the dispersion of the bear population. Ending unrestricted access to forestry tracks, coupled to constant surveillance, aimed at reducing poaching. Ecological management of woods and pastures to lessen human disturbance, was to provide tangible examples of how to reconcile balanced use of resources with the protection of species. A broad awareness-raising campaign would round off the list of measures foreseen by the project.


The project has achieved a limited part of its initial objectives due to a series of reasons, partly connected to unexpected difficulties emerged in implementing the actions. The project however contributed to the increase of the trophic resources available for the bear and implemented a bear presence monitoring programme, which confirmed the presence of at least three specimens. A positive result was also achieved in terms of involvement of the local shepherds, through the signature of an agreement between the Sirente-Velino Park and a local association of breeders, in order to overcome the problems connected with the co-presence of wild and domestic fauna in the pasture areas, reducing the risk of poisoning for wild fauna. The project succeeded in completing the following actions and obtaining the following achievements:

  • Realization of preliminary studies, to be used also to integrate the Sirente Velino regional park's plan relative to bear managment.
  • Sylvicultural interventions, consisting in selective cuttings and in pruning and planting fruit plants. In all, 1335 plants have been pruned and 8480 fruit plants have been placed for the bear.
  • Placing of 5 beehives.
  • Closure of 4 roads.
  • Monitoring activity led to the finding of three bear specimens and to the identification 10 potential sites for bear: 5 in the mixed forest, 2 in the beech forest and 3 in the pasture.
  • 652 ha of potential habitat for the bear were cleaned from waste material.
  • Publication of dissemination material, including booklets directed at children, realization of seminars and training courses, and organization of 18 public meetings.


Environmental issues addressed:


Species - Mammals


endangered species‚  animal corridor‚  natural park‚  integrated management‚  conflict of interests‚  emergency plan‚  management contract

Target EU Legislation

  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directiv ...

Target species

 Ursus arctos     

Target Habitat types

  • 5210 - Arborescent matorral with Juniperus spp.
  • 6110 - Rupicolous calcareous or basophilic grasslands of the Alysso-Sedion albi
  • 6170 - Alpine and subalpine calcareous grasslands
  • 6210 - Semi-natural dry grasslands and scrubland facies on calcareous substrates (Festuco-Brometalia) (* important orchid sites)
  • 6220 - Pseudo-steppe with grasses and annuals of the Thero-Brachypodietea
  • 6510 - "Lowland hay meadows (Alopecurus pratensis, Sanguisorba officinalis)"
  • 9210 - Apeninne beech forests with Taxus and Ilex

Natura 2000 sites

SCI IT7110206 Monte Sirente e Monte Velino



Coordinator Parco Naturale Regionale Sirente-Velino
Type of organisation Park-Reserve authority
Description Established in 1989, the Sirente Velino is a regional park, with an extension of 55.000 ha, within the Abruzzo region. Its management board includes the representatives of the 18 municipalities within the park's perimeter, of the mountain community, of the Region, of the unions and of the NGOs.


Project reference LIFE98 NAT/IT/005114
Duration 01-SEP-1998 to 30-SEP -2001
Total budget 640,650.02 €
EU contribution 352,357.51 €
Project location Abruzzo(Italia)


Read more:

Brochure Title: Booklet for kids, titled: "Bruno, ovvero: metteresti un orso vero nel tuo letto?" Author: Giovanni Nucci Year: 2001 Editor: Edizioni Lapis No of pages: 14
Brochure Title: Dossier on the Sirente-Velino Park and on the LIFE project. Year: 2001 Editor: Editoriale Giorgio Mondadori No of pages: 16
Leaflet Title: Booklet in Italian and English titled "A park for the bear" No of pages: 6
Poster Title: Poster on the LIFE project titled "A park for the bear. The naturalistic monitoring"
Publication: Pedagogical tool Title: A tale for kids, titled: "Meglio un giorno da orso..." Author: Francesca Caddeo Year: 2001 Editor: Nuove Edizioni Romane No of pages: 90
Video feature Title: Video titled “A park for the bear” Author: G. Di Giacomantonio (UnoVideo) Year: 2001 Editor: Parco Naturale Regionale Sirente-Velino


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version