A lot has already happened since the start of the project LIFEstockProtect in September. On the one hand, each partner set up project management and administration. On the other hand, some already started to collaborate with stakeholders to work towards the goals of the different project actions. Here is a summary of the activities of the first six weeks:
- All project partners participated in the successful 2-day Kick-off meeting on 22nd and 23rd of October. We looked into details of the project organization, administration, financial management and communication. Additionally, we planned the next steps and established multiple working groups to tackle the planned preparatory actions.
- The project management team participated in the welcome meeting of the LIFE programme on the 7th and 8th of October. During this meeting, all LIFE projects which launched in 2020 had the opportunity to deepen their knowledge on project management requirements, financial management and guidelines on communication.
- Several employees and volunteers from the European Wilderness Society tested the planned livestock protection volunteer training activities in Tyrol. They supported a local livestock owner with herding 200+ sheep, moving them from the mountains to the valley, and assisted in collecting the fences for the winter season.
- The European Wilderness Society accompanied the television crew from ZDF to Tyrol and Central Italy (Majella National Park) who are producing a documentary on the return of the wolf and arising challenges for livestock protection. The documentary, which is expected to air in spring 2021, will include the LIFEstockProtect project and will showcase one of the locations of a livestock protection competence centre, established within the project.
- Naturschutzhunde has contacted several organizations from the field of wildlife detection to put together all the information necessary for the creation of the certification and curriculum of scat dog teams.
- The EURAC team visited a farmer on the Seiser Alm. Together, they fixed an electric fence to protect sheep against wolf attacks. The conversation revealed that the farmer already experimented a lot with different kinds of fences and gates. His property is situated in a touristic area, which can cause conflicts, for example when visitors do not close gates properly. The farmer is interested to be involved in the LIFEstockProtect fence lab to share his knowledge and to assist in the development of new and better tools to protect livestock.
- The European Wilderness Society visited Majella National Park to learn about the extensive research they conduct on wolves. Wolves have always been present in the area, thus, locals are accustomed to living alongside them. The researchers of the park management explained to us how they perform research to study the wildlife interaction with wolves, and many more interesting topics.
- OPUS and BUND Naturschutz Bayern finalized the hiring process of project managers.
- BUND Naturschutz Bayern presented the LIFEstockProtect project to the audience of the anniversary conference “25 years Nationalpark Unteres Odertal” in Brandenburg.
- The Bavarian LIFEstockprotect team held an online-meeting on the 7th of October to discuss important issues regarding financing, administration, and planning of the livestock protection competence centers.