Geographical : 2020-10-01

REWILDING : 40 : 40

REWILDING

REWILDING Carnivores ‘The public must understand that rewilding efforts will see more natural dispersion, and population­s will grow’ designatio­n of ‘coexistenc­e corridors’ will drive down bear mortality. Twenty-one electric fences have been installed; bear-proof organic-waste bins have been provided; and 90 per cent of local farms have been secured from bear access. Subsequent­ly, between 2015 and 2017, Rewilding Europe recorded a 98 per cent reduction in bear incidents in the region. For Mario Cipollone, leader of the Central Apennines rewilding team, prevention trumps reparation. ‘We want bear and wolf population­s to grow in the Central Apennines, so we’re proactivel­y working with local people to prevent damage,’ he says. ‘We can smooth out this divide between communitie­s and conservati­onists, and in turn build coexistenc­e with carnivores.’ Some of these coexistenc­e strategies aren’t new, but simply rekindle age-old traditions of living with carnivores. Shepherds in Portugal’s Greater Côa Valley can now expect to receive ‘guard-dog’ puppies as part of the LIFE WolFlux project. The Serra da Estrela dogs are integrated into sheep flocks to protect them from wolves – a tradition lost with the decline of wolf population­s through the mid-20th century. 40 . Geographic­al

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