Summer has come and with it a lot of activities – on the pastures and in the project. In July 2021, the project made significant progress in its communication activities with important stakeholders in Austria, aired on radio and TV, and tested the planned livestock training in Tyrol. Read on to find out more.
Please also read: Scatdog Training Is Picking Up Speed!
Stakeholder meeting at Hauser Kaibling, Styria
At the end of July, the project accepted the invitation of the Bauernbund Liezen to discuss the local conditions and possibilities of livestock protection during an excursion to a mountain pasture. On Hauser Kaibling, representatives of the farmers’ association met with staff of the HBLFA Raumberg-Gumpenstein and LIFEstockProtect. It was quickly identified what interest all participants had in common: the preservation of alpine pasture management and with it the preservation of functions and ecosystem services it provides to our society. Without alpine pasture grazing, grazing areas, habitats for rare plant and animal species and erosion control are lost. The importance of these functions will even increase in times of climate change and species extinction.
At the top of the mountain, a misunderstanding could also be cleared up: livestock protection is not synonymous with fences everywhere. On high, steep alpine pastures, fencing as a livestock protection measure is often not effective or simply impossible. On many of these pastures, herding with herding dogs and night enclosures will be the best choice of protection. This allows for many other advantages, for example better control of animal health and targeted grazing. Overall, it was a very successful day and opened up future collaborations to improve human-wildlife coexistence in Austria as well the state of art of alpine pasture management. The excursion and follow up meeting was also showcased in the Kleine Zeitung:
LIFEstockProtect in the news
Given that depredation has increased, the wolf has been widely discussed this month in the media. Because of that, the project is very delighted that the discussion about the necessity of the implementation of livestock protection has also been sparked, partially because of the work of the LIFEstockProtect team. Above all, a radio programme on Ö1 stood out, shedding light on the sate of the human-wildlife conflict in Austria and why livestock protection is an effective solution. German speakers, have a listen:
Besides that, the project has also aired as part of a Portuguese documentary of RTP. You can watch it here (starting at minute 14).
Livestock protection training curriculum testing
One of the project objectives is to increase the knowledge about and implementation of effective livestock protection measures through at least 180 training sessions in Austria, Bavaria and South Tyrol. These trainings will be held at the pastures of the members of the Alpine LIFEstockProtect Competence Center Network and divided into beginner and advanced sessions. They will focus on different types of fences and situations, as well as animal species, and are each based on a curriculum that is being developed by BIOAUSTRIA Niederösterreich und Wien with the support of the rest of the project consortium.
In order to test the structure of the planned trainings, the materials necessary and other specifics, the project consortium met in Tyrol for two days at one of the farms of a future competence center. They spent the days handling different types of wires, nets, isolators and poles in sunny and rainy weather conditions, and in different types of terrain. Eventually, they were able to draw important conclusions about the details of the trainings. Once the the curricula are ready, we will of course give you more details! Besides that, they also had the chance to meet the livestock guarding dogs of the farmer on site and even record the first interviews for the soon to be launched podcast!