Navigation path

High level navigation

home

Page navigation

Additional tools

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Print version
  • Decrease text
  • Increase text

Case Studies

The Platform members are engaged in gathering case studies which document how original conflictual situations have been resolved. These should demonstrate lessons learned in one location which can be applied in other situations or other Member States. Further good practices can be found in the library.

As part of their work gathering case study examples, the Platform has been examining potential funding sources for good practice. Case studies have highlighted that Rural Development support is a potential source of EU funding that is not, yet, fully exploited by Member States. The Platform decided to carry out further investigation into the area. See the Rural Development subpage for more information.

In addition, an analysis of ten case studies was carried out to examine in more detail what constitutes good practice in working together.


Overview


Provision of Advice/Awareness Raising


Provision of Practical Support
Understanding Viewpoints
Innovative Financing
Monitoring


Provision of Advice/Awareness Raising



Protect your livestock website, Italy


Implementation: 2016

Member State: Italy

Contact: Valeria Salvatori, Istituto di Ecologia Applicata

More information: Protect your livestock website (Italian only)

Target species: Wolf

"Protect your livestock" is a communication initiative funded by the Ministry of the Environment and Protection of Landscape and Sea through to the Italian Zoological Union (UZI). The work was developed in collaboration with Istituto di Ecologia Applicata and three agricultural associations (CIA, COlDIRETTI, CONFAGRICOLTURA). It aims to provide information how livestock can be protected from large carnivores as well as integrate scientific research findings and the experiences of farmers and livestock breeders in protecting their flocks in practice. The site is aimed in particular at livestock farmers who might not be aware of the opportunities for protecting their flocks.

  • A website was created to facilitate access to easily updated information;
  • Information was gathered from a range of organisations and individuals with experience in research and practical implementation;
  • The information helps farmers to:
    • Analysis of the risk of attack on their holding;
    • Understand preventive and protective measures to reduce damage;
    • Facilitate access to finance.
  • In addition briefings on the wolf are included for example, “myths and legends”, “protective measures”;
  • The site also explains what to do in the case of an attack on livestock.

The site has been successful in gathering together information from multiple sources (LIFE projects, research, farmers) and putting it in one place. It also helps to coordinate actions between the Italian regions and show where compensation schemes or funding opportunities may vary.

The overall cost of the action was 27,000€. This was mainly used for data collection, content development and web designing.


Back to the top


Promoting transboundary co-existence of bears and humans in the Julian Alps


Implementation: 12 September 2016

Member State: Italy, Slovenia

Contact: Brady Mattsson, Institute of Silviculture, University of Natural Resources & Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria

More information: EUROPARC case study; PANORAMA solution

Target species: Bear

Management of brown bear has recently become one of the most challenging shared management issue for the two protected areas in the Transboundary Ecoregion of the Julian Alps along the Slovenian-Italian border. As such, it has been identified as one of the parks’ management priorities over the next decade. The Triglav National Park lies within the transition zone of the brown bear population and park managers are responsible for ensuring suitable migratory corridors for the bears.

The project used a participatory decision-making process to inform about transboundary bear management in two protected areas, a nature park in Italy (Prealpi Giulie) and an adjacent national park in Slovenia (Triglav). Both parks have received EUROPARC’s formal certification as "EUROPARC Transboundary Area" and comprise a transboundary pilot region for ecological connectivity under the Alpine Convention.

  • A decision process was implemented as a special application for a participatory structured decision-making process, which involves several steps referred to as PrOACT (Problem framing, Objectives, Alternative strategies, Consequences, and Tradeoffs);
  • This involved coming up with a long-list of concerns and wishes and narrowing them down to three ultimate objectives to be achieved;
  • Stakeholders were also asked to evaluate 10-year resource allocation options;
  • The joint participatory process led to improved stakeholder engagement and allowed for more frequent communication between authorities of the two protected areas.

The project led to a joint agreement for allocation of resources (money & staff time) toward satisfying all stakeholders concerned about brown bears in the Transboundary Julian Alps Ecoregion. Actions will be implemented through jointly funded park projects from 2017-2026. The actions agreed upon are expected to maintain or increase the carrying capacity of brown bears within and beyond the transboundary area by up to 150% of the current level, maintain sustainable agriculture by supporting small farms and minimize conflicts among stakeholder groups.

This case study was conducted as part of a research project (ForAdapt; 2015-2017; €170,577) that was funded by the European Commission through the Marie Curie Incoming Fellowship program (Project FP7 Call for proposals FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IIF; Grant Agreement number PIIF-GA-2013-624598).


Back to the top


Network Large Carnivores - Bavaria


Implementation: Ongoing since 2007

Member State: Germany

Contact: Manfred Woelfl; Wolfram Adelmann

More information: Project website

Target species: Bear, wolf, lynx

In the Network Large Carnivores members (mainly volunteer) work on the professional documentation of signs of evidence of large carnivores, such as livestock kills or game kills. The results of this documentation process are fed into the federal monitoring strategy for large carnivores in Bavaria. In order to provide advice in the different regions, the staff is trained in the ecology of species, possible damage prevention measures for livestock breeders and keepers and nature protection legislation.

The project directly supports the determination of eligibility for compensation payments. A careful investigation that differs for game kills and livestock kills allows the determination of which type of animal (for example wolf or dog) is responsible for the loss.

The following actions are covered by the project activities:

  • Professional documentation of possible evidence of large carnivores
  • Training for members of the network in livestock damage prevention measures, recommendations on how to behave in the presence of large carnivores and nature protection legislation
  • Provision of local contact persons giving advice and providing information on livestock damage prevention measures, recommendations on how to behave in the presence of large carnivores and nature protection legislation

The network Large Carnivores in Bavaria is an initiative of the Bavarian State Office for the Environment (LfU) and the Bavarian Academy for Nature conservation and Landscape Management (ANL). The LfU examines all documentation submitted by the network members to support possible compensation payments; the role of the ANL is to provide training measures.

More than 150 members from different stakeholder groups belong to the network: hunters, nature conservationists, foresters, farmers, staff from nature conservation and forest authorities. Their documentation and information efforts assist hunters, farmers and livestock breeders and keepers in damage prevention measures or finding advice in case of a kill. In choosing members of the network, attention is focused on their mediation skills.

The network is funded through the Bavarian State Ministry for Environment and Consumer Protection.


Back to the top


SusiAita - Project (WolfFence)


Implementation: May - December 2016

Member State: Finland

Contact: Antti Rinne

More information: Project website; Video 1; Video 2

Target species: Wolf

The project aims over a short period of time to disseminate information on how to prevent livestock damages caused by wolves and other large carnivores. The project examines the situation with all livestock and hunting dogs however sheep predominate in the region and are the main focus. It is coordinated by the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation (Varsinais-Suomi district) and run in cooperation with Finnish Wildlife Agency (Varsinais-Suomi district) and Nature Conservation Association of Salo district.

Project actions

  • Organise information dissemination meetings with experts present to examine the situation from the viewpoint of different interest groups;
  • Set up in-situ demonstrations such as building predator fences and using trail cameras to supervise livestock;
  • Production of well-edited, professional information materials including videos on YouTube;
  • Finding and developing operating actions which can be used elsewhere after the end of the project.

The project has helped to bring different actors together to discuss problems and find joint solutions to facilitate coexistence. The engagement of volunteers in the demonstrations and seminars has also been encouraged. The project is funded by Ykkösakseli ry (Leader), which gets its funding from the Rural Development Programme for Mainland Finland (2014-2020).


Back to the top


National Wolf Competence Centre


Implementation: February 2016 - 2019

Member State: Germany

Contact: Ilka Reinhardt

More information: www.dbb-wolf.de. Contact partner institutions: Research Institute Senckenberg - Research Station Gelnhausen, Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, LUPUS German Institute of Wolf Monitoring and Research

Target species: Wolf

Main objective of the National Wolf Competence Centre (German: Dokumentations- und Beratungsstelle des Bundes zum Wolf - DBBW) is the provision of up to date information and science based consultancy services on wolf related issues for regional and national nature conservation authorities. The center documents and processes wolf related facts on a national level and ensures a contemporary information flow on the national wolf situation. Services and information include the actual status of wolves in Germany, how to interpret/deal with “bold wolf” behavior, interpretation of wolf signs.

Activities:

  • Development of a wolf data base to be used consistently on a national level
  • Preparation of annual national status reports
  • Assistance in data evaluation in difficult monitoring situations
  • Consultancy in cases of wolf behaviour that is regarded as problematic
  • Development of a website to compile and provide national wolf data, incl. maps, statistics, regional management plans, status reports

The DBBW is coordinated by the Senckenberg Museum of Natural History Görlitz.


Back to the top


“Safe Sheep” Let the Livestock be Safe - Even if a Wolf lives Nearby!


Implementation: Ongoing

Member State: Lithuania

Contact: Saugi avis

More information: www.saugiavis.lt/en/

Target species: Wolf

Safe Sheep is an initiative of the Nature conservation association “Baltijos vilkas“. It aims to help farmers to protect their livestock from wolves by providing one location they can go to for advice on the effectiveness of measures, good practice in implementing them and how they can fund installation. Through this means, it is hoped that protection measures against large carnivores will be put in place more widely in Lithuania.

The website compiles information for livestock breeders on the following topics:

  • What to do in a case of depredation;
  • Different protection measures, including their descriptions and specific effectiveness ratings;
  • Benefits of protection;
  • Where to get financial aid for protection measures;
  • Good practice examples;
  • Depredation maps for Lithuania.

The initiative is based solely on voluntary work, without any part-time or full-time employees or government or EU financing. The website is available both in Lithuanian and in English.


Back to the top


NABU – Wolf Ambassadors


Implementation: Ongoing

Member State: Germany

Contact: Wolf Ambassadors

More information: https://www.nabu.de/tiere-und-pflanzen/saeugetiere/wolf/helfen/botschafter/index.html(German)

Target species: Wolf

The German Society for Nature Conservation (NABU) has established a network of more than 500 wolf ambassadors. They voluntarily support NABU in its efforts to protect the Wolf in the Federal Republic of Germany as well as in wolf-related public relations.

Wolf ambassadors give talks on wolves in kindergartens, schools and to interested adults. They organize info stalls and action days in their regions and are important contact persons for people having questions on the wolf. Working closely together with the NABU wolf ambassadors undertake the following activities:

  • Spread objective information on wolves on the basis of the NABU-position paper;
  • Organize talks, workshops and action days with the support of NABU-experts;
  • Participate in social media campaigns (e. g. “Welcome Wolf“ on Facebook);
  • Widen the support-network for the wolf;
  • Promptly report relevant hints on wolf evidence (wolf kills, footprints, scats) to the regional experts.

The wolf ambassadors attend an annual meeting and take part in regional training courses organised by NABU before starting their activities.


Back to the top


Contact Office "Wolves in Saxony, Germany"


Implementation: September 2004 – December 2016

Member State: Germany

Contact: Contact Office Wolves Saxony

More information: www.wolfsregion-lausitz.de

Target species: Wolf

The contact Office “Wolves in Saxony” has funding assured until the end of 2016, with plans to continue beyond this date. The contact office is a unique facility unprecedented in Germany and Europe. It is located in Rietschen and active in the whole area of the state Saxony.

Its goal is to deliver information about wolf biology, behaviour, distribution and livestock protection methods in an objective, factual and straightforward way. For this the Contact Office is in close contact with other parts of the Saxon wolf management, e.g. the LUPUS institute, responsible for monitoring.

More than 200 target-group oriented lectures and educational booths are organized yearly. The office is responsible for answering questions, writing press releases, publishing newsletters and flyers as well as maintaining a wolf exhibition and a website with up-to-date information about the distribution, scientific projects, livestock depredations or proved reproductions in packs. All this raises awareness and offers information.

The main stakeholders are public, media, authorities, schools, livestock holders, hunters, NGOs, forestry etc. The long lasting communication work shows that the people in areas living with wolves are much more factual and neutral than people in areas where wolves have newly arrived. The media representation is also more neutral and less sensational.

The Contact Office is financed by the Saxon State Ministry of Environment and Agriculture, supplemented by EU-subsidies.


Back to the top


Large Carnivore Expert in Western Finland


Implementation: May 2013 – ongoing

Member State: Finland

Contact: Antti Härkälä

More information: Natural Resources Institute Finland

Target species: Bear, Wolf, Lynx

A large carnivore expert has been employed in western Finland. The state research organization “Natural Resources Institute Finland” is in charge of the work. In the whole area of western and south-western Finland the expert is responsible for giving presentations on large carnivores to the public, giving advice on large carnivore issues and utilising and establishing a network. These tasks are focussed on areas with wolf territories in this densely populated area, which compromises about 15,000 km².

The actions carried out by the expert are as follows:

  • Check and document observations on large carnivores;
  • Inspect damages caused by large carnivores;;
  • Work as a mediator of information between research, authorities, hunters, organizations and local people;
  • Facilitate the exchange of accurate and relevant information on local large carnivore situations to research, authorities, local stakeholders and media.;

There is major interest in the expert’s work by many different stakeholders, such as local people, state and regional authorities, hunters, nature conservation organizations etc. Through the local information exchange the action has raised awareness among local stakeholders. The employed expert also has received good publicity in all kinds of media. This has obviously had a positive effect on attitudes of local people and local stakeholders are in closer contact at the local level.

The action started in May 2013 and was originally meant to end in the end of 2014, when temporary project funding ended. However, due to good experience, the action has been continued in the project area and the person involved was salaried in tenure position. It has not yet been adopted in other regions in Finland, but a similar approach is planned in the updated wolf management plan in 2015 to be adopted in those areas of Finland with current or emerging wolf territories.

Costs between May 2013 and December 2014 were mostly covered by the National Ministry of agriculture and forestry, and partly by the Natural Resources Institute Finland. Currently the position is tenure and paid by the Natural Resources Institute Finland. Employing one person with all costs including travel costs and allowances are about 100,000€ per year. However, for any new similar actions, regional or even EU-funding would be necessary. The Rural Development Programme for Mainland Finland is one potential source of funding.


Back to the top


National Advice Centre for Herders, Austria


Implementation: January 2011 – ongoing

Member State: Austria

Contact: BOKU University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna

More information: www.dib.boku.ac.at/iwj

Target species: Bear, Wolf, Lynx

This National Advice Centre for Herders covers the whole of Austria and consults with sheep and goat farmers to minimise negative impacts of wolf and other large carnivores. As large carnivores are still rare in Austria, the main goal is to prepare farmers to the future challenges. It is an ongoing project on raising awareness.

This federal initiative is implemented by the secretariats of agriculture of the Austrian provinces (Konferenz der Landesagrarreferenten (LARK)). The initiative is organized by the Austrian Union for sheep and goats (Österreichische Bundesverband für Schafe und Ziegen (ÖBSZ)).

Among the tasks of the National Advice Centre for Herders are:

  • Collection and providence of information for prevention measures for herds for farmers, tourism and general public;
  • Testing of different prevention measures for livestock against large carnivores in practice;
  • Acting in the interests of farmers and herders concerning issues of large carnivores;
  • Coaching end education of nationwide responsible consultants for prevention measures;
  • Help and advice for directly affected stakeholders concerning harms by large carnivores.

The yearly costs of the National Advice Centre for Herders were 86,000€ in 2013, paid by agricultural ministry, WWF Austria and ÖBSZ.

Annual reports (in German) can be found on www.herdenschutz.at.


Back to the top


Of Bears and Men in Central Balkan National Park, Bulgaria


Implementation: January 1999 – ongoing

Member State: Bulgaria

Contact: Central Balkan National Park Directorate

More information: www.centralbalkan.bg

Target species: Bear


The Central Balkan National Park (CBNP) is situated in the highest central part of the Balkan Range in Bulgaria. The size of the protected area is 72,021.07 ha. The efforts of the Park Directorate and Ministry of Environment and Water (MoEW) to avoid conflicts between bears and visitors / users cover the whole territory of the protected area.

Year by year, park users and visitors become more aware of biology and ecology of bears, but still they do not respect wild animals in the protected area enough. The activities in all three National Parks in Bulgaria are to prevent conflicts between large carnivores and people are similar. Visitors of the Parks are now much more aware about how to avoid meeting bears.

Livestock owners, however, are still not aware of the rules regarding compensation of damages caused by bears. The Park Directorate is making a concerted effort to raise awareness of and understanding about the administrative procedure. The activities will continue in the future. Among the actions of the CBNP are:

  • Monitoring of Brown bear;
  • Elaboration of informational materials and panels studying the park visitors how to behave in order to avoid meeting with bears or to avoid the conflict in case of meeting;
  • Establishment of Park emergency response teams which react in 24 hours on every signal from livestock owner for damages by bears. This team proves the necessity of financial compensation in cases of damages caused by bears.

There are no calculated additional costs of this measure; it is part of the annual job of the park employees. The National Government provides support of National Park Directorates.


Back to the top


Management of Human-Bear Conflicts under High Touristic Pressure, Tatra National Park


Implementation: June 1991 – now

Member State: Poland

Contact: Tatra National Park, Carpathian Brown Bear

More information: www.tpn.pl (Polish); www.carpathianbear.pl

Target species: Bear

The Tatra Mountains are located in southern Poland. Tatra National Park (TNP) comprises the entire Polish part of Tatra Mountains (200 km²). The rest of this mountain range belongs to the Slovak Republic. In both the Polish and Slovakian National Parks, human activities are restricted to especially designated areas (hiking, skiing trails, climbing areas). The rest is strictly protected as nature reserves and access is only allowed with a special permit from the National Park administration. Despite this, particularly in the Tatra National Park, human influence is very high, with about three million tourists visiting the park every year.

In 2010, the brown bear population in the area (part of the Carpathian born bear population) was estimated at 20 individuals. In the Tatra Mountains, habituated and, more often, food- conditioned bears have appeared almost every year since the 80s. The appearance of problem bears in this area was mainly due to intentional feeding. The magnitude of this problem has been significantly reduced since proper waste management, deterrence and aversive conditioning of bears were implemented systematically during the 90s.

While now problem bears are uncommon, preventive measures such as electric fences to protect buildings, and guarding sheep flocks inside the park and in its close vicinity, are systematically used. If a problem bear appears, aversive conditioning is immediately implemented (e.g. by shooting with rubber bullets) and close monitoring of the situation is conducted. The staff of the Tatra National Park also acts in case of potentially conflict situations outside the borders of the National Park, e.g. bears entering neighbouring villages or bears killed by traffic. The team in charge of bear interventions is continually trained so they can act immediately and professionally.

Currently the situation is stable but the efforts are being continued by means of following actions:

  • Continuous educational efforts aimed at tourists and local stakeholders;
  • Installation of electric fencing;
  • Lack of garbage bins on touristic paths and continuous removal of attractants;
  • Continuous monitoring and deterrence and aversive conditioning when problem bears appear;
  • Continuous training of the bear team for bear emergencies; and
  • Transboundary cooperation with Slovakian Tatra National Park (TANAP) and nature protection authorities.

Information and education campaigns aimed at tourists, hunters and local communities, devoted to increasing awareness about appropriate behaviour and the consequences of bear feeding are continuously conducted. There is also research conducted on a regular basis. In 2013 an external study investigated how aware visitors to Tatra National Park (TNP) were of human influence on brown bears (Spalona 2013).

The total costs of this continuous management are hard to estimate. They might be higher in the first years when bigger efforts to solve the issue of problem bears were needed than currently when, due to these efforts, problem bears do not occur. They are included in the management efforts of the Tatra National Park and are funded through National and Regional sources. The owners or renters of services in the area are also responsible for carrying out preventive measures and contributing to or covering their costs.


Back to the top


Protection of Wolf-Breeding Sites against Infrastructure Development in Human-Dominated Landscapes


Implementation: July 2007 – May 2017

Member State: Portugal

Contact: Francisco Álvares (CIBIO/InBIO); Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe, LCIE

More information: http://www.loboiberico.org/en

Target species: Wolf

Specific mitigation measures have been applied in Portugal to some infrastructure development projects to protect wolf breeding sites. Measures have been conducted in two main areas within the wolf range in Portugal: Peneda-Gerês located in North-west Portugal (approx. 780 km²) and South Douro located in north-central Portugal (approx. 1,100 km²). These areas include a total of 12 breeding packs, which comprise 20% of the estimated packs existing at a national level. The measures are being implemented by several wind energy companies, and by ACHLI – Iberian Wolf Habitat Conservation Association, a non-profit association.

Known breeding sites from wolf packs have been defined as Priority Areas for wolf conservation, to assure their protection in processes of land use planning and in strategic tools for infrastructure development. The following minimization measures have been proposed by the wind energy companies under the scope of the Environmental Impact Assessments of several windfarms:

  • Defining a circular area of 1 km around each known wolf breeding site as an exclusion area for wind farms construction;
  • Avoiding construction activities for wind farms during the night (time period of highest wolf activity) and during pup-rearing period (from April to September), when they are located near wolf breeding sites (< 3 km); and
  • Limiting road accessibility to wind farms located near wolf breeding sites, in order to reduce traffic and avoid direct human disturbance.

These minimization measures are supported by a long-term wolf monitoring programme, conducted by CIBIO/InBIO, Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, focusing on the yearly evaluation of breeding packs, location of breeding sites and distance of breeding sites to wind energy infrastructures. As a result, several wolf breeding sites were already successfully protected in areas where wind farms and power lines were planned.

Breeding sites as Priority Areas for wolf conservation have also been considered in the scope of compensatory measures defined in Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) of wind farms. In this context, several actions for habitat improvement have been implemented inside and around wolf breeding sites, such as restricting hunting activity, reintroduction of wild prey (e.g. roe deer) and forest management. These compensatory measures defined in EIAs have been supported by the wind farm promoters and implemented by ACHLI.

These measures are expected to contribute to a stronger awareness among general society, governmental institutions (such as the National Authority for wolf conservation, ICNF) and, in particular, infrastructure promoters, of the need to protect wolf breeding sites in processes of land use planning, especially in human-dominated landscapes. With this approach, we expect that in a near future these measures can become considered as strategic tools for infrastructure development across all wolf range in Portugal.

Due to their implementation in the scope of much wider long-term wolf monitoring studies, the costs related to the minimisation measures are difficult to estimate. The measures have been supported by windfarm developers in the scope of mitigation measures defined in EIAs.


Back to the top

Provision of Practical Support



Livestock Protection Measures through Medwolf


Implementation: October 2012 - March 2017

Member State: Italy

Contact: Istituto di Ecologia Applicata

More information: www.medwolf.eu

Target species: Wolf

Tuscany is one of the region mostly affected by wolf presence as its economic assets are strongly based on rural activities, production of high quality products and maintenance of rural agro-pastoral environments by the presence of free ranging grazing sheep. The presence of wolf in many lowlands where it has been virtually absent for decades has encouraged the regional government to elaborate plans for damage compensation and prevention in order to mitigate conflicts. Although the regional government made funds available for preventive measures, between 2006-2013, compensation was managed through a voluntary insurance scheme which was generally poorly adopted. The LIFE MEDWOLF project started in late 2012 and encourages collaboration between provincial administration, environmental NGOs and professional agricultural associations in representation of livestock breeders. The Istituto di Ecologia Applicata coordinates activities and mediate among different interests, finding agreed-upon solutions.

Professional associations (the three main farming unions: Coldiretti, Confagricoltura and Confederazione Italiana Agricoltori) are responsible for allocation of the preventive measures, following guidance provided by technical experts from the provincial administration and IEA. Full support is provided to livestock breeders in selecting the most suitable measure for their holding, in full consideration of the livestock management regime.

Livestock breeders were selected for participation in the project through a set of criteria and the location according to an estimated map of depredation risk.

Methodology and measure implementation

At the start of the project, a pre-operational analysis was carried out to give a broad picture of past damage events in the provincial administration. The results highlighted the deep mistrust held by livestock breeders towards the current damage management system and poor reporting of damage events, which made it difficult for decision-makers to understand the measures needed. The results allowed the project participants to lobby the regional administration, requesting the management system to be modified.

Measures available

  • Fixed metal fences of various sizes, with strong metal mesh and poles, with at least a 20-cm depth base and of at least 180 cm height;
  • Fences with mixed metal mesh and electric wires;
  • Livestock guarding dogs assigned to livestock owners;
  • Support of project staff with provision of dog food, vet care, behavioural monitoring, and mating management for the first two years of a dog’s life;
  • Establishment of livestock owners association for the management of dogs;
  • First project litter already delivered to new owners for free.

Longer term effects management

The professional association and the provincial administration provided insightful information to the regional administration for the inclusion of preventive measures in the 2014-2020 Regional Rural Development Funds (PSR). This has allowed the LIFE MEDWOLF measures to be included with the exception of the livestock guarding dog measure. This is due to an interpretation of EC rules which considers that support for purchasing animals is not allowed. There are doubts about this interpretation since LGD are not considered to be a production animal.

The project is ongoing and in 2016 intensive work will be carried out for assessing the effectiveness of the preventive measures and evaluating the feasibility of their extensive use within the region.


Back to the top


Greek Bear Emergency Response Team


Implementation: January 2011 - July 2014. The action is being continued.

Member State: Greece

Contact: Callisto

More information: www.ypeka.gr (Greek)

Target species: Bear

Two committees and one Bear Emergency Team, which play the role of administrative/operational coordinators, have been established in order to establish a general frame, to plan intervention scenarios and to evaluate each incident through a case by case ranking/scoring process.

  • The Central Scientific Committee (CSC) is responsible on the central level and is in of the scientific and technical knowledge, experience and know-how, as well as the overall monitoring of the protocol implementation;
  • The Crisis Management Committee (CMC) is active on the regional level performing the same tasks but is entitled with operational duties for the targeted implementation of the protocol;
  • The Bear Emergency Team (BET) follows its major operational task of the bear-human conflict incident management.

Most of the incidents which have been managed so far were located in Pindus Mountain range - Epirus region and W. Macedonia region (western bear population distribution nucleus in Greece). However, the location, size and costs of the actions are variable and depend on the scale of the incident and the intervention/management tools and operations deployed.

The action has been adopted by law at a national level in Greece and has become part of a national management policy and mechanism. Actions of the project are the following:

  • Collection and compilation of necessary information on each case (CSC & CMC);
  • Evaluation and ranking of the degree of emergency for each case based on a pre-established criteria table (CSC & CMC);
  • Operational scheduling at two levels: CMC & BET;
  • In situ visit of the hot-spot;
  • Deployment and use of bear deterring means and devices;
  • Monitoring on deterring measures feedback;
  • Evaluation of bear aversive conditioning degree of success.

For each case, a targeted information campaign by experts is organised (either ad-hoc or scheduled) and conducted according to the local context. Moreover, relevant printed material on use of preventive measures as well as on bear-human interference assets was produced and distributed to local communities. Stakeholders, involved in the protocol implementation are state institutions delegated in the three committees (competent ministries, central and local forestry services, municipalities, regional and prefectural units, police authorities, fire brigades, public veterinary services, civil security authorities etc.) as well as hunters’ federations, National Farmers’ Insurance Organisation, Universities and NGOs.

The costs of the action cannot be totally evaluated yet as its implementation at a national level has just commenced. It officially started in September 2014 with the first technical meetings at CSC and CMC levels and with relevant bear-human interaction incidents to manage.

The action received support by three LIFE-Nature projects: LIFE07NAT/GR/000291, LIFE09NAT/IT/000502 and LIFE09NAT/GR/000333. It has been reported as a national case study during relevant technical meetings with delegations from other member states and has also contributed in the elaboration of the international manual delivered to the EC "Defining, Preventing and Reacting to problem bear behaviour in Europe".


Back to the top


Developing a Network of Livestock Guarding Dogs (LGDs)


Implementation: July 2009 – June 2012

Member State: Greece

Contact: Callisto

More information: http://www.lifextra.it/index.php?option=com_docman&task=cat_view&gid=79&Itemid=30&lang=en

Target species: Bear and Wolf

A network of owners of Livestock Guarding Dogs (LGDs) was created in the district of Grevena in Western Macedonia. Using LGDs supports livestock management practices reducing the loss of livestock to predators and thus reducing human – large carnivore conflict.

The LGD network facilitates coordination and the exchange of puppies and adult dogs between the livestock breeders. Given that owners of good LGDs receive social recognition from other animal breeders and farmers in mountain areas, the network encourages the maintenance of the quality of the dogs by correct breeding practices. The project involved the following steps:

  • A registry of all owners of good quality LGDs was created;
  • The facilitator of the network started frequent visits in order to persuade owners to participate in the network, exchanging dogs and experience regarding their use;
  • The facilitator of the network and other Callisto staff provided support, monitoring and intermediation services to the network. The keeping of detailed records was used in order to identify, monitor and compare the quality and efficiency of these dogs; and
  • A veterinarian expert, with long experience on work with LGDs, supported all network members, providing veterinary care and advice to the members for free.

The development of the network of LGD owners was backed-up by an extended awareness raising campaign including media work, printed material (leaflets, posters, technical guides), public events, workshops, social media etc. The action has been continued through other LIFE projects (LIFE ARCTOS KASTORIA and LIFE ARCPIN) in the region of Grevena and the region of Kastoria.

The incurred costs of the preparation of the register and the preliminary assessment of brown bear damage on livestock for one year was 9,052 €, of which 8,200 € was for personnel and 852 € for travel and subsistence costs. Incurred costs of the development of a network was 26,612 € for two years, 19,522 € were personnel costs and 7,090 € travel costs. Indirect costs are not calculated in the above amounts. Implementation was financially supported by the LIFE Financial Instrument (75%) and beneficiaries of the project LIFE PINDOS/GREVENA (LIFE07 NAT/GR/000291) (25%). The layman’s report of the project is available in both Greek and English languages.


Back to the top


Damage Prevention Measures (e.g. fences) through the Rural Development Programme in Greece


Implementation: March 2004 – September 2013

Member State: Greece

Contact: Callisto

More information: www.agrotikianaptixi.gr (Greek)

Target species: Bear

Inclusion of the damage prevention measures in the National Rural Development Programme (RDP) was a result of extensive lobbying activities of Greek Environmental NGOs specialised in large carnivore conservation. The project area consisted out of several regions including bear habitat across Greece. It included forty-nine Natura 2000 sites in the Regions of Eastern Macedonia-Thrace, Central Macedonia, Western Macedonia, Epirus, Thessaly and Central Greece. The stakeholders addressed through these prevention measures were beekeepers, farmers, and livestock breeders.

In order to decrease the conflict between bears and humans and to ensure that small-scale pastoral and farming practices remain economically viable in mountainous areas, damage prevention measures have been tested and put into practice by NGOs in the framework of LIFE Nature projects between 1994 and 2002. Feedback from installation of electric fences with a photovoltaic source (e-fences) from previous LIFE projects in the frame of which the measure was implemented, shown that 94% of the beekeepers who used portable units were satisfied with the implementation of the measure (regarding effective operation of the installed units).

After testing and evaluating the success of the measures, and in order to ensure its long-term sustainability, Greek NGOs, started an extensive negotiation processes with the national competent authorities, mainly the Ministry of Rural Development and Food for including financial support of the measures in the Rural Development Programme (RDP).

Greek Rural Development Programme 2000-2006

For the first time, a measure for e-fences for apiaries and sheepfolds was included in the RDP in the programming period 2000-2006, which foresaw financial support for the purchase and installation of it by beekeepers. A similar preventive measure was included in the next RDP programming period between 2007 and 2013.

The financial support foreseen was the co-financing of 77,5% of the purchase and installation costs, which range between 350 to 1,000 € depending on the selected equipment, the remaining costs being covered by the interested beneficiaries (beekeepers and sheep and goat breeders). The programme opened in September 2013.

The application of the measures were promoted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and was backed-up by an awareness raising campaign by NGOs including media work, printed material (leaflets, posters and technical guides), public events, workshops, social media, etc.

What has proven quite complicated is the long-term financing of the technical measures. The implementation in the Rural Development Programme failed in the first programming period of the RDP (2003-2007), due to the inadequate awareness raising of potential beneficiaries, and also due to insufficiencies related to the design of the conditions of participation. This meant that the funds which were meant for the preventive measures were left unused. It is thus important that the implementation of the preventive measures forms part of a larger conservation strategy.

Greek Rural Development Programme 2007-2013

The provisional budget of implementing the measure in the 2007-2013 programming period of RDP was 1,000,000 € for 2013 and 2,000,085 € for 2014.

Implementation of the measure in the framework of the National Rural Development Programme is financed by European Union (European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development) and the Greek Government (Hellenic Republic, Ministry of Rural Development and Food). The Region of W. Macedonia supported/contributed financially.

According the relevant Common Ministerial Decision (Nr. 8512/15.04.2013) the measure will be implemented in two annual rounds, 2013 and 2014, with a total public expenditure of 3 million €.

Current situation

The measure has been put forward to be included in the next Rural Development Programme, 2014-2020. Currently, the action is continued by Greek NGOs, including CALLISTO, and Management Authorities of Parks in Greece (e.g. Management Body of the Rhodope’s Mountain Range National Park). The NGOs use several financial tools, including LIFE projects, voluntary work and own funds. The parks use financial support provided by the state (“Green Fund”).

A similar measure was implemented in the framework of the Bulgarian “Operational Programme Environment 2006-2013” in the Rhodope Mountains, district of Smoljan. The Management Bodies of the Rhodope’s Mountain Range and of the Northern Pindos National Parks also adopted the measure. Implementation of similar measures was started in April and June 2013, respectively, with financial support was provided by the “Green Fund” (Ministry of Environment).


Back to the top


Practical support under the Bulgarian Rural Development Programme


Implementation: 2007 to present

Member State: Bulgaria

Contact: Elena Tsingarska

More information: Bulgaria - Rural Development Programme 2014-20

Target species: bear, wolf, lynx

Bulgaria has included measures for coexistence in their Rural Development Programmes for the last two funding periods. Measures for livestock grazing in national parks where large carnivores are present have been included in the agri-environment measure.

The measure is open to stockbreeders carrying out traditional livestock management (seasonal pastoralism) on grassland in areas with large carnivores. It is concentrated on the Pirin, Rila and Central Balkans National Parks.

  • A payment is received per hectare of grassland as compensation for costs of extra work required to protect the herd against attacks by large carnivores.
  • The payments have increased over time for the pastoralism measure as a whole. However, the relative incentive for keeping Livestock Guarding Dogs has decreased. For the period 2007 - 2011, if at least two working dogs are used for guarding a flock the subsidy per year is 110 EUR/ha. If no dogs are used subsidy is 100 EUR/ha (10 EUR difference). For the period 2012 - 2013, the payments are respectively 165 EUR/ha and 152 EUR/ha (13 EUR difference) and for the 2014-20 programme, the payments are 182 EUR/ha and 179 EUR/ha (3 EUR difference). These changes are due to a recalculation of the measurement of additional costs associated with the measure.
  • Monitoring is carried out to measure the impact of the measure. The number of hectares and the number of animals involved in the sub-measure are recorded. Type and number of animals to meet the workload of pasture and the authorization from the park to graze on pasture which is given to him, is monitored. Also the use of at least two LG dogs, is monitored.

Both environmental NGOs and, in later iterations of the programme, farming representatives, have been involved in the design of the measures and both sit on the Programme Monitoring Committee. The measures are judged to be successful as the use of the traditional breed of Karakachan dog as is the use of mountain pastures in these areas. At the same time, damages caused by predators and conflict between people and predators has decreased.

Nonetheless, implementation could be improved through more involvement stakeholders in the design of the measure and better advice on implementation. Additionally, from 2017 the National Parks have added to their national plan for grazing a restriction on the number of dogs to be kept (2 or 3 depending on the park). This may limit use of dogs by some shepherds.

Funding was 435 340 701 EUR for the pastoralism sub-measure in the 2007-13 programme. In the 2014-20 programme, this has decreased significantly to 52 420 000 EUR (applied on 35 000 ha in the three National Parks, NP Pirin, NP Rila and NP Central Balkan). The reason for the decrease in funding is unclear but may be related to other priorities being set in a programme which overall is smaller in size.


Back to the top


Practical support under the Slovenian Rural Development Programme


Implementation: 2004 to present

Member State: Slovenia

Contact: Suzana Škof

More information: 2007-13 RD Programme; 2014-20 RD Programme

Target species: bear and wolf

Slovenia has longer experience than most member states in including measures for coexistence in their Rural Development Programmes. Measures for animal husbandry in areas with large carnivores have been included in the agri-environment measure in the last three Rural Development programmes.

  • The measure is open to farmers and stockbreeders carrying out livestock management on grassland in areas with large carnivores.
  • A payment is received per acre of grassland as compensation for costs of extra work required to protect the herd against attacks by large carnivores.
  • The measure has developed over time, in the 2014-20 programme there are the following requirements:
    • Protection of the herd with mobile protective electric fences and electric nets;
    • Protection of the herd in the presence of a shepherd; or
    • Protection of the herd in the presence of a herding dog.
    • The payments per hectare varies depending on the implementation of one or more of the above requirements selected by the beneficiary.

A wide range of stakeholders from farmer representatives to environmental NGOs are represented on the Programme Monitoring Committee and have been involved with the design of the measure. In the 2007-14 period, the total expenditure total expenditure for the measure “Animal husbandry in central areas of appearance of large carnivores” was 1.304.443,28 EUR (EU financing and national cofinancing) (data from the Annual progress report from the year 2015). There were 642 applications in total meaning that payments on average worked out at 2090€ per applicant. Knowledge about the measure is increasing amongst beneficiaries.


Back to the top

Understanding Viewpoints



Transfer and Communication Project – Baden-Württemberg


Implementation: January 2012 - December 2017

Member State: Germany

Contact: Michael Herdtfelder

More information: http://forum-grossraubtiere.wildtiere-bw.de/

Target species: Lynx, large carnivores in general

In Baden-Württemberg, Germany, conflict surrounding the coexistence with large carnivores has been found to be part of a greater group conflict about the definition of societal values. Inherent in this situation is the perception of actors that their specific group characteristics and values are threatened by the values of other groups who strive to impose these upon others.

The project aims to constructively/effectively manage conflicts about large carnivores and to develop sound solutions to these conflicts, mainly by enlarging the awareness on conflict dynamics among the conflict parties. The project enhances positive interaction and communication between the stakeholders involved and integrates the affected stakeholder groups within large carnivore management processes.

The following actions were covered by the project activities:

  • Communication training was set up for “game wardens”
  • Local networks of stakeholders in four model regions were established
  • Meetings were organised in the regions involving key stakeholders from all interest groups (care was taken to identify influential individuals who really represent their groups viewpoints)
  • External moderators not connected to any stakeholder group were engaged
  • Rules for communication were agreed in stakeholder discussions
  • Stakeholders were encouraged to examine the conflicts themselves rather than the causes of the conflict
  • Participants were trained to consciously respond to conflict-prone statements around large carnivores and reflect on conflict dynamics

The project found that the key to a fruitful discussion with different stakeholders lies in understanding their viewpoints and concerns without necessarily having to agree, thus building trust for a further good communication. The Transfer and Communication Project improved relationships between stakeholders and allowed difficult and controversial questions to be discussed.

The transfer and communication project is led and funded by the State Forest Research Agency Baden-Württemberg and is carried out by one person (50%). It is funded by the Ministry of Rural Affairs, Food and Consumer Protection.


Back to the top


Core Group Wolf


Implementation: 2006 – Ongoing

Member State: Switzerland

Contact: Manuela von Arx

More information: KORA

Target species: Wolf

Cantonal (regional) Wolf Groups have been established in several Swiss cantons. The main goals are to encourage discussion between stakeholders and improvement of relationships. The core groups organise meetings of all interest groups, excursions to look at measures on the ground and discussions with livestock owners. Stakeholders involved include cantonal authorities, representatives of (cantonal) farmer association, sheep breeder association, goat breeder association, hunting association, game wardens, WWF and Pro Natura, AGRIDEA (national coordinator for prevention measures), livestock guarding dog association, tourism interests. Since the groups are established on the cantonal level, there are differences in emphasis and membership between the different cantons.

Activities (as an example the Canton of Bern):

  • Two meetings are set up per year coordinated by the cantonal authorities
  • One excursion is organised in August to visit farmers, look at measures and discuss them with livestock owners
  • The cantonal wolf strategy is implemented by the group
  • Exchange of Information, solution-solving approaches is encouraged
  • Discussing policy measures and consulting authorities takes place

The canton organises and finances the excursion, travel costs to attend the meeting are covered by the members themselves.


Back to the top


Stakeholder Attitudes to Bears in Greece


Implementation: January 2009 – March 2013

Member States: Italy, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece

Contact:

More information: www.lifextra.it

Target species: Bear

Interviews, questionnaires, and focus group discussions were employed to prepare a SWOT (Strengths and Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis to exemplify how stakeholders perceive and respond to conflict or opportunities for cooperation in bear conservation. A scenario-based approach (6 scenarios) was used with follow-up surveys to look at possible future developments and alternative options. The approach helped to explore similarities and differences between the perspectives of different groups and highlighted what each were willing to accept.

Activities:

  • Identification and consultation of stakeholder groups and interviewees
  • Focus group discussions were undertaken, one with stock-breeders and another one with hunters in the project areas
  • Conduction of informal interviews with chief foresters in the study areas
  • Preparation of surveys and interviews with respondents
  • All conversations were recorded and content analyzed
  • Input regarding bear issues came from experts who had studied the local area

Stock-breeders would accept a minimum of damage to their livestock caused by the bear - provided compensation was given. Local residents’ diverged from both win-lose or win-win approaches of the debate over the relationship between environmental protection and economic development. There is heterogeneity of beliefs in rural communities. A mixed-motive approach with solutions that will improve the potential outcome simultaneously for both parties (integrative principle of win-win models) is suggested.

The project was funded through LIFE EX-TRA with 14,650€ (plus overheads).


Back to the top


Public Attitude Survey – LIFE WolfAlps


Implementation: September 2013 – May 2018

Member States: Italy, Slovenia

Contact: Alexsandra Majic; and Francesca Marucco

More information: LIFE WolfAlps; and LIFE WolfAlps Project Overview (available in English, Deutsch, Italiano, Slovenian)

Target species: Wolf

The project LIFE WolfAlps carried out a public attitude survey focused on stakeholders in wolf core areas in the Italian and Slovenian Alps to gauge their overall knowledge about wolves and their overall support on wolf conservation. In general, the public was cautiously supportive of wolf conservation in the Alps and it was found that those most knowledgeable about wolves were most supportive. Hunters’ views were found to be very diverse ranging from opposition to clear support going from the western to the eastern part of the Alps. Farmers were the most negative group and consistently opposed wolf conservation, even in cases also where wolves were either absent or where preventive measures have been particularly effective in reducing wolf attacks.

Activities:

  • Identification of seven key areas (core areas) across Italian and Slovenian Alps
  • Surveying more than 3600 respondents, from the general public, hunters, high school students, farmers, mountaineers and environmentalists

The questionnaire covered these topics:

  • Attitudes toward wolves
  • Beliefs about wolves and a knowledge section made up of factual questions
  • Attitudes toward various management issues, such as livestock issues, hunting, trust of information sources
  • Personal experience with wolves
  • Familiarity with the LIFE WolfAlps project
  • Socio-demographic information about each respondent

Results suggest that support for wolf conservation increases with knowledge about wolves, stressing the importance of awareness raising and educational campaigns.

The work was funded through LIFE WolfAlps with a total project budget of € 6,100,454. The cost of this specific action amounted to € 80,538.


Back to the top


Cooperation of Stakeholders in the Cantabrian Mountains, Spain


Implementation: January 1993 – May 2015

Member State: Spain

Contact: Fundación Oso Pardo (Brown Bear Foundation)

More information: www.fundacionosopardo.org

Target species: Bear

To improve the social acceptance of bears, reduce poaching with illegal snares and avoid the indirect impacts of hunting activities, the Fundación Oso Pardo facilitates cohabitation and collaboration. To achieve this, they signed formal agreements with Hunting Associations and Federations and put in practice regular cooperation between bear patrols, rangers and hunters, working together against poaching, clearing vegetation in some hunting areas and monitoring bears. The actions have been carried out in 23 Natura 2000 sites of the Cantabrian Mountains. The project carried out by the Fundación Oso Pardo covers the two core areas for bears in the Cantabrian Mountains (northwestern Spain) and the corridor between them, comprising about 9,500 km² in total.

Most of the actions were discussed in meetings or training sessions and published in handbooks:

  • Joint management of hunting grounds and joint patrols to prevent poaching;
  • Actions to prevent and remove illegal snares;
  • Information to avoid accidental shooting of bears during wild boar hunting drives;
  • Education initiatives aimed at schools and other stakeholders;
  • Delivery of electric fences to beekeepers and farmers to avoid damages;
  • Agreements with mayors, hunting, farmer and beekeeper associations.

The Fundación Oso Pardo also developed actions and agreements with beekeepers, cattle-breeders, tourism business owners, local governments and local inhabitants. As a result of these actions and the awareness-raising work, hunters and local communities are currently proud to live amongst bears. There is an increasing interest in establishing agreements for developing activities such as conflict prevention or habitat restoration. As a result, human-caused bear mortality has drastically reduced to such an extent that bear populations are now recovering.

During the last 15 years, the estimated annual costs for the patrols were between 100,000-400,000 € for ten people, vehicles and equipment. Between 2010 and 2014, costs were estimated to be 220,000 € for habitat management and risk avoidance in hunting areas; 170,000 € for tree plantations and habitat restoration; and 60,000 € for electric fences for beekeepers. These costs were partly covered by two LIFE projects with a total budget of 2.34 M€. In total, since 1992, eight LIFE funding projects have been carried through. Other smaller sources of funds came from the Ministry of the Environment, Fundación Biodiversidad, Regional Governments and private sponsors.

This project is going to be continued involving hunters, beekeepers, farmers, mayors and other stakeholders. Parts of the approach have been adopted in other EU countries, such as Italy and Greece.


Back to the top

Innovative Financing



Pastoraloup Volunteer Programme


Implementation: 1998 - ongoing

Member State: France

Contact: Pastoraloup

More information: Ferus Pastoraloup (French)

Target species: Wolf

The organisation FERUS, established in 1993, has the mission to ensure that farming and wider rural communities are properly integrated into conservation work. One of the projects which they run involves engaging volunteers to help farmers in the French South Alps to protect their flocks from large carnivores with the assistance of volunteers.

The programme includes the following actions:

  • Participants take part in a collective training event
  • Volunteers commit to spending a period of two or more weeks helping with project activities
  • Volunteers take part in night monitoring activities to help track wolf movements
  • An emergency intervention team made up of volunteers can be called out in the case of issues caused by wolves
  • Volunteers assist with changes to farming infrastructure needed to mitigate for the presence of large carnivores

The programme is funded by Ferus and through a contribution paid by the volunteers to take part in the training course (80€). The shepherds provide the volunteers with food and sometimes lodging in exchange for their work.


Back to the top


Pasturs Volunteer Programme


Member State: Italy

Contact: Pasturs

More information: http://pasturs.org/ (Italian)

Target species: Wolf, bear

The project aims to mitigate the risk for shepherds working in the Bergamo Alps caused by large carnivores in the area by training volunteers to provide them with knowledge and practical help on the ground in all aspects of working life.

Situated in the Lombardy region, at the Southern edge of the Alps, the Bergamo Alps are highly biodiverse. High Nature Value grazing helps to maintain pasture-based ecosystems. Maintaining farming activity is therefore environmentally as well as socially valuable.

The programme includes the following activities:

  • Free training course for volunteers;
  • Placement of volunteers with shepherds for a minimum of one week between June to September;
  • Volunteers help shepherds with the daily work including establishing enclosures, monitoring the flock, looking after the dogs and informing tourists about the shepherds work.

The project offers the opportunity for volunteers (mainly conservationists) to exchange experiences with shepherds and learn from one another about the valuable mountain ecosystems. The project is helping shepherds become more aware of the environmental value of their product. A regional marketing plan aids them in monetising the ecosystem services they provide, making up to an extent for the risk of predation by large carnivores. Awareness of coexistence measures is also increasing and shepherds are learning from one another how to reduce the risk that their flock is predated.


Back to the top


Loupastres Volunteer Programme


Implementation: 1998 - ongoing

Member State: France

Contact: Voluntaires Pour la Nature

More information: http://www.volontairesnature.org/ (French)

Target species: Wolf

Volontaires Pour la Nature was established in 1994 to allow everyone to participate in the protection of biodiversity through carrying out voluntary work. One of their programmes allows volunteers to spend a period of time in the mountains assisting a shepherd put in place measures to protect sheep against wolves.

The project aims to maintain local structures and natural conditions in Rhône-Alpes; allow discussion and transmission of knowledge between different interest groups; allow the general public to learn about and from farmers; assist shepherds with dealing with the additional burden posed by the presence of wolves and to test coexistence measures and solutions.

The programme includes the following actions:

  • A collective training week which takes place on a mountain farm where volunteers learn about measures to protect flocks against wolves such as fencing and livestock guarding dogs;
  • A 15 day period of working on a mountain farm allowing volunteers to fully emerse themselves in the world of the shepherds;
  • Discussion between shepherds and volunteers about wolves and coexistence.

The programme is funded by Volontaires Pour la Nature and through a contribution paid by the volunteers to take part in the training course (120€). The shepherds provide the volunteers with food and lodging in exchange for their work.


Back to the top


Labelling Scheme for Farm Cheeses Produced in the Haut Béarn


Implementation: 1995 - ongoing

Member State: France

Contact: Jérôme Ouilhon

More information: FIEP (French)

Target species: Bear

Fonds d’Intervention Eco-Pastoral Groupe Ours Pyrénées (FIEP) was established with the objective to ensure that the bear and the shepherd can live together in the Pyrenees. They began working with shepherds in 1979 to examine how problems with coexistence with bears could be avoided. In 1991, FIEP and the shepherds in the Haut Béarn region of France began to discuss how the presence of the bear could potentially bring socio-economic benefits to shepherds. In 1994 FIEP, the shepherds’ association “Les bergers des vallées d’Ossau, Aspe et Barétous” together with WWF France and a marketing company developed an approach to use the bears’ image to give value to the cheese.

Actions

  • The brand “Pé Descaous” (barefoot - based on the nick-name of the bear in Béarn) was created in 1995;
  • The brand is represented by the bears foot imprint stamped on the cheese;
  • In 1996, the brand was launched locally and nationally and the first sales took place;
  • The cheese is sold in a number of ways, directly by farmers, to wholesalers or through SARL, the commercial arm of the shepherd’s association.

For the shepherds, the unusual branding helps to sell higher volumes of cheese to wider markets and opens up discussions with their buyers about the presence of the bear. The shepherds have embraced coexistence, they and FIEP consider that the both shepherds’ traditional practices and the bear are essential for the Pyrenean ecosystem. The branding has helped to valorise the quality of their cheese, which thanks to the naturally herb rich grazing conditions, produces unique flavours of sheep, cow and goats cheeses. The valorisation programme demonstrates how pastoralism which respects and maintains biodiversity can not only coexist but also gain benefits from the presence of the bear.


Back to the top


Labelling Scheme for “Broutard”, Free-Range Lamb Produced in the Central Pyrenees


Implementation: 2001 - ongoing

Member State: France

Contact: Pays de L'ours

More information: Pays de l'Ours – Adet (French)

Target species: Bear

The “broutard Pays de l'Ours” is lamb aged 6 to 12 months, raised on its mother's milk and grass. It migrates to summer pastures with the herd and spends at least three months on mountain pastures. It is sold fresh or frozen directly from the farmer to the consumer. Traditionally the flock was always accompanied by a shepherd, often with a dog (the patou) who moved with the flock to the summer pastures ensuring that different areas were grazed and that the flock was not attacked by predators. Production of the broutard and the practice of shepherding has declined over the last fifty years and with incentives to move to more intensive farming systems. The presence of the bear, however, has highlighted problems with the new system which does not afford adequate protection to the flocks still existing.

  • Farmers and shepherds, united in the Association for Pastoral Cohabitation and Pays de l'Ours – Adet;
  • The label “broutard du Pays de l’Ours” (lamb from bear country) was established;
  • The first direct sales operation took place in autumn 2001.

The label reflects a mode of production that is sustainable and in particular compatible with the presence of bears. Consumers can make the choice to support a mode of production which respects both humans and the environment. Consumers are also satisfied in terms of the product which, reflecting its natural origin, is of high quality.


Back to the top


Bear Friendly Products through the LIFE DINALP BEAR Project


Implementation: October 2015 - ongoing

Member States: Slovenia and Croatia

Contact: Alexsandra Majic

More information: DINALP Bear-Friendly Products and Bear-Friendly Label

Target species: Bear

The “Bear-friendly” label is a recent initiative from DINALP project. It can be used by those livestock breeders, beekeepers, fruit growers and other farmers as well as providers of tourist accommodation, companies and craftsmen, who contribute to a coexistence between bears and humans through the use of bear friendly practices or through active promotion of bear conservation in the local environment.

The first products with the label are already appearing in shops. Among the first ones are honey products and natural soaps “Eleonorina žajfa” with the motives from the Kočevska region, which is the central part of the bear territory in Slovenia.

The activities in promoting the “bear-friendly” label include:

  • The production of stickers and miniature leaflets with the “Bear-friendly” label
  • Target products are milk, cheese, meat products, dry fruit, jam, honey, soap
  • “Bear-friendly” products will be promoted in informational folders, web pages, travel markets and fairs. A leaflet to promote the “Bear-friendly” label was prepared in Slovenian and Croatian language.
  • An interactive geographical online “bear-friendly” products and services database

In the initial months, 15 producers in Slovenia and 13 in Croatia were approved to use the “Bear-friendly” label on their products.

The development of the label was funded through the LIFE DINALP BEAR project (the entire project budget, including other actions amounts to € 5,987,478 EC contribution. Out of this approximately € 30,000 is dedicated to the development of the Bear-friendly label). It is part of a larger ecotourism package currently under development (see http://dinalpbear.eu/category/news/ecotourism/ for updates).


Back to the top


LIFE WolfAlps – Ecotourism Project


Implementation: September 2013 – May 2018

Member State: Italy

Contact: Francesca Marucco; Giuseppe Canavese

More information: LIFE WolfAlps Ecotourism

Target species: Wolf

To favour the coexistence of wolves and humans at the local level and in the long-run, the LIFE project WOLFALPS is developing local ecotourism programmes, with the first pilot work implemented in protected areas. The two main objectives are to raise awareness among visitors regarding the presence of the predator and to ensure an economic return for the territory and for the locals based on the wolf presence. At the same time restrictions of such activities are considered in local management plans, to favour real ecotourism with zero impact on the species. The impact of these ecotourism actions will be determined by a planned study conducted at the beginning and at the end of the project which will assess the socio-economic impact of the project in the core areas.

Actions:

  • Creation of a ecotouristic brand named “Wolf Friendly” to promote ecotourism and the marketing of typical local products and their merchandise (e.g. bread and cheese)
  • Evaluation of areas that need to be object of particular protection in local management plans, where also tourism activities should be restricted (e.g. reproductive sites)
  • Development and promotion of ad hoc strategies to the use of the mountain resource
  • Excursions to pastures that are distinguished by good practices in preventive methods from wolf attacks (summer); wolf snow-tracking excursions with tourists in winter
  • Summer Camp Programmes for schools and teachers, who became special “ambassadors” within the Alps
  • Creation of itineraries that include ‘wolf’ in their name, creation of wolf information points, panels, etc. on the way
  • Special campaigns to promote ecotourism such as “adopt a special wolf”

The ecotourism project is part of the LIFE12 NAT/IT/000807 LIFE WolfAlps – “Wolf in The Alps: Implementation of coordinated Wolf Conservation Actions in Core Areas and beyond” coordinated by the Alpi Marittime Natural Park. LIFE WolfAlps has a total project budget of € 6,100,454. The cost of this specific action is of € 137,543.


Back to the top


Conservation Performance Payments


Implementation: 1996 – 2011 (with full programme implementation in 2002)

Member State: Sweden

Contact: Jens Persson

More information: Persson et al (2015) Paying for an Endangered Predator Leads to Population Recovery

Target species: Wolverine

The Swedish government replaced compensation payments with conservation performance payments (CPP), paying reindeer herders for the number of successfully breeding wolverines in their area. CPP is found to reduce the number of illegal killings and encourage better stock protection measures (since payments were made whether or not stock were lost).

Key to the success of CPP is the link between monetary payments and the production of a desired conservation objective. Payments in CPP address efficient herding (i.e. prevention of depredation) and do not penalize with a lower compensation. Payments cover losses in reindeer production resulting from depredation or disturbance, while simultaneously accounting for the conservation value of wolverine.

Actions:

  • Authorities make payments to reindeer herders
  • Payments are based on the number of documented wolverine reproductions in the respective district, regardless of predation levels
  • Field monitoring of wolverine reproductions is carried out
  • Assessment of demographic effects on the performance indicator is made using long-term data from radio-marked adult resident wolverines and data from the national population monitoring program

Growth in the wolverine population was observed 5 years after the programme was set in place. The number of registered reproductions increased from 57 in 2002 to 125 in 2012, with the population expanding into previously unoccupied areas.

The Swedish CPP program focuses on an extreme case, where a large carnivore feeds mainly on livestock; thus, its success illustrates a very promising potential for future implementation in carnivore conservation, especially where livestock is not the main prey.

From 1996 – 2002 payment per wolverine reproduction was lower than the originally intended 200,000 SEK (SEK 1 ~€ 0.15). Since 2002, payments have been set at 200,000 SEK per documented wolverine reproduction, with ~18 million SEK (~2,7 m €) paid annually.


Back to the top

Monitoring



Transborder-Monitoring of Brown Bears in Norway, Finland and Russia using Hair-Trapping


Implementation: Mid-June to mid-August in 2007, 2011 and 2015, planned for 2019

Member States: Finland - plus Norway and Russia

Contact: Conservation Biologist Tuomo Ollila, Metsähallitus, Parks & Wildlife Finland; Conservation Geneticist Alexander Kopatz, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO), Norway,

More information: Research report; Videos

Target species: Bear



The research area covers bear habitat in far north of Europe, close to the Barents Sea in Norway, Finland and Russia. The area includes the Pasvik-Inari-Trilateral Park and the Vätsäri Wilderness Area Natura 2000 area in Finland. The size of the research area is 1,400 square kilometers.

The project was a collaboration led by the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO) in Svanhovd, Norway; Metsähallitus, Parks & Wildlife (Finland) and Pasvik Strict Nature Reserve, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Kolskaya GMK (JMC Norilsk nikel) (Russia). The project was implemented and conducted in close collaboration with the wildlife management, e.g. Norwegian State Nature Inspectorate (SNO) and the County Governor of Finnmark (Fylkesmannen i Finnmark).

Actions carried out:

  • The project involved hair trapping in a study area of 1,400 square kilometers;
  • Hair traps (barbed wire set 40 cm of the ground and a scent lure to attract bears) were set out in every grid square;
  • The project team checked the traps every second week;
  • Halfway through the period, the traps were moved within the grid square to another location;
  • At the end of the sampling period the traps were removed;
  • Motion-triggered wildlife cameras were also set up in several locations
  • The monitoring was carried out in the summer over 70 days;
  • The monitoring is repeated every four years.

In 2015, 26 different brown bears were detected, Norway (16 bears), Inari in Finland (5 bears) and Pechenga in Russia (9 bears). Seven (35%) individuals, detected in 2011, were recaptured in 2015. Four (16.7%) bears, detected in 2007, were recaptured in 2015. Two individuals were detected in two countries, and one individual were detected in grids in all three countries. A total of 13 new bears were identified in 2015 as compared to 4 in 2011.

The monitoring shows that the brown bear population of Pasvik-Inari-Pechenga seems stable and shows high genetic variability. The monitoring and research efforts are being expanded to additional areas in the region (Anarjohka and Troms regions in Norway), which will give a more comprehensive picture on the population. Hair-trapping can lead to a substantial increase in the number of detected bears in a study area.

The action increased the amount of information and improved estimates of the number of brown bears, especially in inaccessible, natural areas. This creates a much better basis for wildlife and predator management as foundation for decision making. Local people and game management appreciate the effort and especially the information gained by this project. Overall locals are positive towards bears and appreciate all extra information on the population.


Back to the top


Involving Stakeholders in Bear Monitoring


Implementation: July 2014 – June 2019

Member States: Slovenia, Croatia

Contact: Tomaz Skrbinsek

More information: DINALP Bear

Target species: Bear

The project addresses collaboration and monitoring. As part of the broader EU LIFE funded DINALP project, stakeholders are being engaged in the monitoring of bears, supporting conservation and natural expansion of brown bears into the Alps and minimizing human-bear conflicts.

In Slovenia and Croatia, hunters and foresters have been encouraged to submit samples of bear scats. There has been a very positive response with large numbers submitted – 100-150 per day initially – also helping to develop very good working relations. Interest has been maintained through personal engagement with volunteers and providing them with personalized results. A yearly population status update report completes the profile.

Key activities:

  • Personal DNA-sampling kit for volunteers and stakeholders, with which they can pick up bear scat
  • Analysis of the samples by the DINALP project team
  • Results are fed into an internet-based geo-database
  • Stakeholders/volunteers receive feedback including tracking information of the bear who produced their samples

Keeping volunteers and stakeholders motivated in the long-run is essential for the success of stakeholder engagement projects. Direct participation actions in combination with a personalized feedback keep volunteers and stakeholders interested, if not fascinated, to explore and contribute in the long-run.

The project is funded through DINALP EU LIFE project (the entire budget, including other actions amounts to 5,987,478 €).


Back to the top


Skandobs - The Scandinavian Tracking System for Lynx, Wolverine, Brown Bear and Wolf


Member States: Sweden, Norway

Contact: Support and Technical support

More information: Scandobs

Target species: Lynx, wolverine, brown bear, wolf

In this database everyone can register observations of tracks, signs or sightings of large carnivores in Scandinavia. Increased reporting of observations will contribute to increased knowledge of the occurrence and distribution of these species. Observations that are registered here will be available to the system users.

Observations can be also shared with the Skandobs-app after downloading Skandobs-Touch in the App Store or Google play onto the cell phone to report predators or track while you are out in the field.

Key elements of Scandobs:

  • Internet-database established
  • Individuals feed their data on observed large carnivores (or traces such as scat) into the database
  • Database is updated every 15 min
  • Website includes an overview on most recent observations, photo gallery, statistics, total records
  • Scandobs-app allows participants to easily share observations immediately
  • Languages: English, Swedish and Norwegian

The database is administered by Rovdata, an independent part of the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA).


Back to the top


TASSU-system and voluntary-based large carnivore contact network


Implementation: 1978-present

Member States: Finland

Contact: Natural Resources Institute Finland; Markku Järvenpää ; Finnish Wildlife Agency; Olli Kursula

More information: http://www.largecarnivores.fi/conservation-and-hunting/large-carnivore-research/estimating-the-numbers-of-large-carnivores.html

Target species: European lynx, brown bear, wolf, and wolverine


The Tassu (“paw”)-system is an electronic database collecting together signs of the presence of large carnivores. Data is collected by a network of volunteers comprising of about 2000 trained contact persons, who may be called out to inspect and confirm example tracks or scats found by the general public. Contact persons are mostly hunters, but also reindeer-herders and staff from State Forest Enterprise (Metsähallitus) and The Finnish Border Guard.

  • Potential volunteers (who are known to be competent in recognizing LC tracks and know about their behavior) are identified by local game management association or reindeer-herding co-operative, or other authorities
  • Volunteers receive training from the Finnish Wildlife Agency. Training lasts around three hours and includes the types of observations that are relevant (plus common mistakes) and technical use of the system
  • Volunteers are given access to the observation database by the Finish Wildlife agency
  • They are called out to inspect signs of large carnivores by citizens who have found them
  • They also make actively observations themselves
  • In the case that the presence of large carnivores is confirmed, they enter the evidence (observations on tracks, feces, carcasses and other types of observation, as well as sight observations and observations from wildlife cameras) into the database Tassu (“the paw”)
  • The volunteers can also browse the database to locate all previous observations on a map

The information gathered on Tassu is the backbone of the Finnish monitoring system and is used together with other sources of information (DNA, wildlife cameras, GPS-collars, field work on wolf territories etc.) to compile population assessments for all the large carnivores species in Finland.

The system is administered by the Natural Resources Institute Finland and funded using state funding. It is intended to continue the action. The system for recording observations will be further developed and mobile application is available within a couple or years. Large carnivore contact person network is trained by Finnish Wildlife Agency on a regular basis and new contact persons are recruited to areas where the network is still too sparse.


Back to the top


Standardization, co-ordination and implementation of a damage-compensation-prevention-mitigation assessment system for wolves in the Apennines (through LIFE WOLFNET)


Implementation: January 2010 – December 2013

Member States: Italy

Contact: Simone Angelucci

More information: http://www.lifewolf.net/en/the-project.html

Target species: Wolf


LIFE WOLFNET was a joint project between a number of public entities natural reserves, national and regional parks and Apennine provinces aiming to establish better coordination for wolf management in the Apennines. Prior to existence of the project a coordinated and agreed way of assessing damages to livestock caused by wolves was lacking. Procedures followed were not standardized or accurate, were too complex and expensive for the farmer concerned, and not adequate in economic terms. Different bodies were responsible in different locations and this led farmers to either give up on claiming damages or to try to get around the system. The coordinated actions introduced by the project tackled these problems leading to a reduction of conflict and the adoption of clearer compensation mechanisms.

Actions:

  • Creation of an Institutional Network for the unification of decision-making procedures;
  • Implementation of assessment procedures for damages caused by wolf to livestock;
  • Development of in situ prevention strategies for wolf predation on livestock, reduction of wolf impact on breeding activities and improvement of tolerance and acceptance towards the species.

Through these means, greater acceptance of the wolf in the areas was achieved as well as a better understanding of what the damage caused by wolves amounted to and how to reduce predation. The work was funded through the EU LIFE fund.


Back to the top