Whether we are talking about wolves or any other species, when it comes to conservation you first of all need to have updated and reliable data on which to work: how many packs and how many wolves are there (A4)? where do they live? How do they move? what do they eat? what do they die of (A4 and A6)? what is their impact on domestic livestock (A7)? How do people feel about living along side them (A8)? All of this information can only be obtained through methodic and scientific monitoring.
LIFE WOLFALPS is monitoring and conservation
Actions (A2, A3, A4, A6, A7, A10, D1, A11)
Collecting scientific data across the whole of the Alps is a complex undertaking, requiring a large deployment of trained staff (A3), who are able to put into practice, long-term, reliable shared monitoring protocols. Training courses are organised to standardize the approach to monitoring in the Alpine range and prepare personnel with standard methods, the first one was organised in Ceva in 2014 for the establishment of the ‘Alps Wolf Network? (link with the outcomes of the course, the downloadable reports and images of course). And even before the field work begins, these protocols should be established, defining common strategies and methodologies for monitoring the conservation status of the wolf population and its trend over time (A2).
Monitoring is necessary both in the initial phase of the project, to determine the starting point (A4, A7, A8), and at the end, to assess the effectiveness of interventions (D1, D2, D3) . The actions most closely related to wolf conservation provide for the establishment of management plans within the territory of the protected areas to protect the species and its breeding sites (A9) and the analysis of the spatial connectivity of the Alpine population of wolves (A10 ). The cases of wolf-dog hybridization are also subject to monitoring, the management of hybrids (C5) is fully part of the conservation of the Alpine wolf population. Hybridization with domestic dogs constitutes a serious threat to the genetic conservation of the species. The conservation strategy provides for the control of the hybrids through sterilization or removal to authorized wildlife areas, where they can be accommodated and where visiting these specimens can be a useful tool to raise public awareness on the theme of hybridization.
Among the tools that will be developed in the course of the project is the Web Gis portal, designed to collect and georeference reports of the presence of wolves in the Alps (A11).