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Val Rendena, Trentino Alto-Adige

august 2023

On 6 February a team of the Trentino Forestry Corps went into action in a mountain area of the Bassa Val di Sole to shoot the M90 bear on the orders of the president of the region Maurizio Fugatti. The Ispra also gave a favourable opinion, following the guidelines of the problem scale reported in the PACOBACE (interregional action plan for the conservation of the brown bear in the central-eastern Alps). The motivation for the culling seems to be that it is a confidant bear, i.e. an animal that approaches humans as well as population centres and often preys on farm animals.

Bears in Italy had become extinct in the 1970s, precisely because of indiscriminate and arbitrary culling. The reintroduction of bears in our country was made possible through the implementation of the Life Ursus project in the Adamello Brenta National Park, which involved importing 9 individuals from Slovenia (3 males and 6 females aged between 3 and 6 years) to recreate a bear population of 40-50 individuals in 20-40 years. The project was successfully completed in 2004, bringing the ursid population to around 50 individuals. In the meantime, today the culling has begun again.

However, the kill line is not the solution and does not actually solve the problem. In Abruzzo, for example, a team of researchers from PNALM (the national park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise) constantly monitors the activities of the bears so as to keep the population constantly informed, and equips built-up areas with hermetically sealed bins and farms with electrified fences; the system seems to be working. In Trentino, on the other hand, there is much delay on the peaceful coexistence front, the line adopted by the region seems to be to continue with culling. There are, however, cases that bring to light that an alternative is also possible in Trentino: Nicolò and Sonia, sheep breeders, move to high altitudes in the summer and use guard dogs to defend their flock, as well as using photo-traps to detect the bears' movements during the night and organise themselves so as not to invade their space.

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