C. Conservation Actions

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C.1 Livestock Protection

This action will implement the training developed in A.6. – novice and experienced courses on livestock protection – as well as advanced courses about livestock guarding dogs. The aim is to train livestock farmers how to do successful livestock protection, and, thus, convince them to continue to implement it.

Additionally, livestock protection consultants will be trained. Together with the establishment of livestock protection competence centers, this will aid knowledge transfer to local farmers. To support farmers in reacting to emergency situations, livestock protection equipment sets will also be provided at competence centers and various other relevant locations.

C.2 Livestock protection with dogs

This action aims to achieve the acceptance and active usage of dogs to assist in livestock protection measures. Guidelines for breeding and certification of livestock guarding dogs developed in A.5 will be tested and fine-tuned by existing breeders and examiners, and eventually integrated in all project areas into existing protocols and legislation.

Scatdogs can assist the surveillance of wolf presence, find additional scat for DNA proof, and can also be used in cases where public unrest is caused by rumors of wolf presence. To leverage the use of scatdogs in the project areas, we will train interested stakeholders, including farmers and hunters, how to use them correctly.

C.3 Multi-perspective impact

The acceptance of livestock protection as a solution to the human-wolf conflict in the project region strongly depends on the opinion of key stakeholders (i.e. livestock farmers, hunters, tourism sector, lobbyists). Concrete stakeholder engagement activities aim to increase the acceptance of livestock protection. These include:

  • Multi-stakeholder meetings
  • Thematic working groups focusing for example on financial support, compensation schemes, poaching of wolves, and tourism
  • Field visits and workshops for tourism managers and other interested individuals to highly touristic areas where tourists and livestock protection implementation coexists
  • Targeted lobby activities

C.4 Livestock protection analyses

Through the performance of three different analyses we aim to yield fact-based results about the mitigation of human-wildlife conflict, large carnivore management and agricultural development. The results will help to lobby for the implementation of livestock protection in the Alpine region. The analyses will address:

  • The impact of livestock activity on the local environment
  • The feasibility of livestock protection
    implementation in different terrains, altitudes, and herd compositions
  • The quality of available livestock protection material for long-term usage, tested through fence labs

C.5 Public awareness and education

This action will inform and engage the target audiences, especially youth and the agricultural community, through inviting, innovative and non-formal learning experiences. To do so, we will use some of the latest pedagogic technologies and methods. Mobile exhibition modules will be used, which can be set up at various venues like public exhibitions and agricultural fairs. Like this, visitors will be informed on different topics related to livestock protection, such as the environmental impact, effective protection measures, livestock guarding dogs, shepherds and livestock welfare.

A targeted innovative and interactive didactic exhibition “Pasture World – Weidewelt – Il mondo dei pascoli” will be developed by the Museum of Nature in South Tyrol.

C.6 Livestock Support Programme

The effective implementation of livestock protection shall be supported through the use of several information and assistance networks:

  • Online information platform integrated in the project website
  • Creation of a Volunteer Workforce Network to train volunteers to assist farmers in the field
  • Creation of a Livestock Ambassador Network to promote livestock protection
  • Creation of a proposal to harmonize legislation in the project areas
  • Lobby for integration of livestock protection measures into RDPs across the project areas, focusing on the CAP revision by the end of 2022