SAVING THE MARSICAN BROWN BEAR
TENT is dedicated to the protection of the critically endangered Marsican brown bear through supporting our project partners, Salviamo l’Orso.
Italy’s Abruzzo National Park sits at the heart of the stunning Apennine mountain range, and has been labelled as an area of exceptional biodiversity with around one hundred indigenous species. Amongst these are the Italian wolf, golden eagle and of course the Marsican brown bear.
As a result of poaching, poisoning and land fragmentation, the bears’ numbers have dwindled from their hundreds to around 50 remaining today. It is down to the projects being carried out by Salviamo l’Orso that awareness around this issue is growing, and large efforts are being taken to protect the subspecies.
Created in 2012, Salviamo l’Orso are striving to grow Marsican brown bear numbers within the Abruzzo National Park. Their projects involve raising awareness of the presence of the bears and educating local communities with the hopes of improving human-wildlife relationships. The ultimate goal of Salviamo l’Orso is to expand the area in which the bears can roam securely and without threat, ensuring peaceful coexistence with members of the surrounding villages and towns.
By educating younger generations within the communities local to the Abruzzo region, Salviamo l’Orso aim to raise awareness of “best-practice” methods for human-bear coexistence within the Marsican brown bear’s distribution range.
There are multiple prevention methods that Salviamo l’Orso work tirelessly to put in place in order to limit human-bear conflict. They are currently involved in an extensive canine vaccination programme to safeguard against a number of diseases being passed onto the bears. As well as this, their efforts are involved in building electric fences to protect livestock and creating traffic initiatives that aim to reduce vehicle collisions with bears.
Salviamo l’Orso are also instrumental in ensuring that there is enough food availability for the bears. By pruning fruit trees in abandoned orchards outside the villages and small towns, they aim to create ongoing and abundant food sources.
All of the work carried out by Salviamo l’Orso requires ongoing monitoring to ensure its effectiveness and to provide the best possible support for bear response teams. Furthermore, research is also vital in highlighting areas that hold potential for expansion of the bear popular population – the ultimate goal of the organisation.
SALVIAMO L’ORSO & TENT
The European Nature Trust (TENT) is hugely excited to be embarking on its new partnership with Salviamo l’Orso to help support their work in protecting the Marsican brown bear population and habitat in Abruzzo National Park.
By engaging supporters through unique and exciting conservation journeys in the Apennine region, TENT aims to create vital networking and fundraising opportunities that will help to continue the work that Salviamo l’Orso carry out.
SALVIAMO L’ORSO FACTS & FIGURES
- The Marsican brown bears roam within an area of Abruzzo National Park that spans between 1,500 to 2,500km2
- The latest estimate points towards the bear population sitting between 50 and 60 bears
- Thanks to a Salviamo l’Orso traffic initiative put in place in 2014 no bears have been killed by vehicles within intervention areas
- Since installation of over 70 electric fences, bear damage in two townships has dropped by 99.3%
- Between 2013 and 2016 Salviamo l’Orso vaccinated over 2,600 sheep dogs, and since then no bears have died from diseases carried by dogs.