Case Study

Experience as lead partner of the LIFE+ Project WOLFALPS “The wolf in the Alps”

Contact name

Giuseppe Canavese

Institution name

Ente di gestione delle Aree protette delle Alpi Marittime

Region & country

Maritime Alps (Protected Area) and Piedmont - Italy and Slovenia


Co-financed by the EU, LIFE WOLFALPS project has the objective of achieving coordinated actions all over the Italian Alps for the conservation and management of the wolf Alpine population. It involves 12 partners: protected areas, regions, scientific museums, universities, carabinieri forestali and many more supporters – a transversal team essential to define coordinated strategies functional to ensure the coexistence between the wolf and the traditional economic activities (breeding) both where the wolf is already present and in the areas where the process of natural recolonization is currently in progress. Key actions: damage prevention, monitoring of the Alpine wolf population, anti-poaching, communication, ecotourism.


Photo by: Fulvio Beltrando

Background of the project

The lack of any form of coordinated management adopted at the Italian alpine scale was one of the most crucial challenges for: wolf monitoring at the Alpine scale, species conservation, best-practices in damage prevention dissemination from the areas where the wolf is already an established presence in the areas where the process of natural recolonization is currently in progress, scientific and objective communication to all the public targets, fight against mistakes and prejudices about wolf.

Coordination at the Alpine scale on the following fields: monitoring and conservation actions, prevention of damages on livestock, eco-tourism development focused on the wolf, anti-poaching actions and anti-poison of dogs, scientific communication, debunking of false news and information about wolf, educational and artistical activities for the dissemination of solid scientifical information about wolf and human-wolf coexistence.

Solution and actions taken

  • First monitoring of the wolf Alpine population: knowledge is the basis of conservation and management;
  • Improvement of prevention devices and techniques: decreasing losses the level of hostility will lower and the quality of coexistence will improve;
  • Ecotourism: wolf as a resource to raise awareness among visitors and ensuring an economic return for the territory;
  • Improvement of coordinated anti-poaching and anti-poison activities;
  • Innovative, original and coordinated dissemination actions.
  • Prevention: new means invented and already existing methods improved;
  • Ecotourism: wolf-friendly products, new hiking, and trekking “wolf-centered” proposals (snow-tracking hikes, hikes, and trekking to all pages where effective preventive methods are successfully implemented), eco-tourism networking activities;
  • Anti-poaching: two anti-poison dog teams activated;
  • Coordination of traditional and original communication activities (photo- and drawing contests, theater show, social medias, …).

Other institutions or parties involved

Project partners:

  • Ente di Gestione delle Aree Protette delle Aree Marittime (lead partner);
  • Corpo Forestale dello Stato;
  • MUSE – Museo delle Scienze di Trento;
  • Ente di Gestione Aree Protette Alpi Cozie;
  • Ente di Gestione Aree Protette dell’Ossola;
  • Consorzio Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio;
  • Ente Parco Nazionale Val Grande;
  • Regione Lombardia;
  • Regione Veneto;
  • Triglavski Narodni Park;
  • University of Ljubljana;
  • Many project supporters…


The project is still in progress: it will finish in May 2018. We realized ex-ante studies at the beginning of the project, during this last year final reports will be realized to demonstrate the effectiveness of the project actions. These reports will be available on the project website:
Ex-ante reports are already available.


At the beginning of the project, difficulties of coordination among different organizations and institutions in order to build a solid network all over the Alps (many partners changed their status during the project, e.g. Corpo Forestale dello Stato). Huge effort in training a 500 people monitoring the network. Diffusion of incorrect information about wolves and daily struggle against disinformation.

Lessons learned

Underestimation of the effort need to realize the wolf alpine population monitoring (in future, we’ll do a better and more realistic evaluation of the effort); great importance of the communication actions (great results) to be repeated end improved in the future; need for further improvement of the networking with other LIFE projects.

Other resources

  • LIFE WOLFALPS "Ululato sulle Alpi"

Contact name

Giuseppe Canavese

Institution name

Ente di gestione delle Aree protette delle Alpi Marittime


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