Synthesis of the final results in the Grosseto’s province

Best practices for the conservation of wolf in the Mediterranean areas

Synthesis of the final results in the Grosseto’s province

Estimate of the wolf’s presence

In the period that goes from March to September 2017, a survey has been done to evaluate wolf’s presence in the provincial territory, arriving to the ascertained estimate of the presence of 21 flocks.

Investigation subjected area: 172 cells 3x3, 1548 square km, about 30% of the provincial territory and 48% of the suitable area for wolf.

Estimate of the presence: we registered the presence of 21 flocks, 16 of whom with evidences of occurred reproduction.

Presence area: using techniques of interpolation and probabilities models, we estimate that wolf’s presence can be considered of 2.216 km2, about 50% of the provincial territory, and that the suitable area is not entirely occupied (estimate of the suitable area: 2838 km2, 63% of the provincial territory).

Population’s estimate: Through population’s methods of estimate based on capture’s and recapture’s of the genotypes, we estimated the presence of 80 individuals  before the reproductive period. Considering that the presence of wolf could be not been detected in suitable areas, and assuming that these areas are occupied, the estimate could be of 22-24 herds (including Viterbo and Siena’s areas) and a population of 86-115 wolves.

Sample prevalence of hybrid individuals: to the 68 exemplars of whom has been possible to define the individual genotype, 32 have been classified like wolves and 36 like hybrids wolf-dog (53%), with 15 flocks on 21 identified that present at least an hybrid individual.

 

Analysis of the damages to livestock

From 2014, when the direct refund caused by the predations losses has been established, and when the Asl9 Grosseto (Local Health Department) has established the predation’s register, till 2017 we registered about 330 attacks every year. That events measure is certainly a sub-esteem, cause many farmers don’t denounce to Asl for several reasons. From an esteem of 63 companies that had attacks in June-July 2017, it emerges that 30% of the suffered attacks is not declared. In certain cases, the attacks are not denounced to Asl, but reported on local newspapers. The comparison between denounced attacks and that reported on local print re-conducts to about 20% of the not denounced attacks, often from few companies which damage is recurrent. From these emerges a unique company that joined the Medwolf’s project. The mostly farms struck from the predator’s attacks ( so called chronic) represent a low percentage compared to the companies that suffer damages (4%).

Prevention’s measures: fences and livestock guarding dogs

From 2014 80 fences and 46 guarding dogs have been entrusted to the farms in the Grosseto’s province, contributing to the put in safety of about 90 farms. The predator’s attacks in farms that adopted prevention measures suffer a 47% decrease from the moment of their functional adoption, concentrated in the hours when animals are not subjected to any protection (74% of attacks to companies with protection that occur in daytime, to unchecked pasture). Comparing the attacks suffered by the farms with and without prevention’s measures in the period that goes from July 2016 to July 2017, emerges that 67% of the attacks happen in farms without prevention’s measures, and considering that the enclosures are used like night recovers, 81% of the nocturnal attacks damage the farms without prevention’s measures. Farms with prevention’s measures reported a 50% fall in livestock’s loss.

The institution of the association called Difesattiva (www.difesattiva.info) allowed the farmers to find an opportunity to promote their work, to spread to the general public and to environmentalists, the difficulties associated to the wolf’ presence in zoo-technic production. It is a virtuous example of collaboration and responsibilities sharing, with the acknowledgment of the difficulties associated to the predator’s presence. The association signed some conventions with different institutions, like the national Park of “Foreste Casentinesi”, the National Park of Appennino Tosco-Emiliano, the union of Garfagnana’s  municipalities, for the correct administration of guarding dogs; and with WWF Italia Onlus and Almo Nature to give support to farmers that have guard dogs, representing an opportunity to alleviate administration’s costs.

 

Predatory risk assessment

Integrating dates on wolf’s presence, an environmental eligibity model has been elaborated for its distribution on provincial territory. There were used environmental variables like forest coverage and the presence of a road web, and the results report that predators occupy an area of 2216 square kilometres (50% of provincial territory). Integrating this result with the dislocation of the companies on territory we elaborated a risk’s model on provincial territory. The areas mostly exposed to risk  were identified, and so those that represent the major contribution to gross internal product.

 

Social answers

The answers of farmers that adopted prevention’s measures are definitely positive: 81% of farmers believes that fences are a valid instrument and 74% of dog’s beneficiaries expresses himself positively on guarding dogs work. Despite the positive outcome of prevention’s instruments, their integration in administration’s system of the breeding’s entails some additional work, like reported from 60% of the beneficiaries of fences and dogs. Most part of beneficiaries (77%) expressed satisfaction on the cession of prevention’s instruments and on the support offered by the technic staff of the project. In social level we detected a strong expression of marginalization and loneliness of breeding’s sector, that doesn’t necessarily depends on wolf’s presence, but that suffers the presence of this predator. In certain cases the adoption of prevention’s measures has been considered like a distraction of the competent authorities and the involved sector from the most important topics in wolf’s management. Even if prevention’s measures are considered effective, in all cases is reported an increase of the work for their keeping, that sometimes is not considered convenient or possible. Regardless to the result of the prevention’s measures the project LIFE MEDWOLF is positively considered from most of the interviewed farmers, even in the technic actions done, like the estimate of the wolf’ presence, the communication and the direct involve of the farmers and the estimate of the effectiveness of the installed measures. So much appreciated were the initiatives supporting the exchange of experiences between farmers, and the open attitude of the project staff even with the farmers that didn’t demonstrate availability to join the initiatives of the project.

The experimental path done in June-July 2017 showed an high grade of availability of the different groups of interest to participate to meetings on the topic “wolf’s management” and to share a decisional process that takes the detection of management’s interventions, but work doesn’t finish here, there’ll be many other future promotion’s initiatives to promote prevention’s measure in the companies, monitoring and territory’s control.

Here the complete document on the presence of canids in Grosseto’s province.

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