Rewilding Europe is delighted to welcome a new member from Italy to the European Rewilding Network. Working to protect wolves in the Italian Alpine Arc region, the Return of the Wolf project takes the number of network members to 63, distributed right across Europe.
Overseen by Parma-based NGO Io non ho paura del Lupo (“I’m not afraid of the wolf”), the Italy-based Return of the Wolf project has become the latest European rewilding project to join the European Rewilding Network. This takes the number of network members to 63 (including Rewilding Europe’s eight operational areas), distributed across 27 countries.
“We are honoured to have joined the Rewilding Europe network,” says Daniele Ecotti, president of Io non ho paura del Lupo. “We look forward to sharing expertise and insight as we work towards our goal of establishing a secure future for the wolf in Italy.”
The aim of the project is to promote wolf conservation in the Italian Alpine Arc region and support human-wildlife coexistence. Using non-invasive sampling methods the project is also conducting wolf monitoring in the Upper Taro Valley (an extensive area of wild land in the province of Parma), the northern Apennines and the Alps, and following the dynamics of wolf populations in selected rewilding sites. This allows the project team to evaluate the territorial expansion of wolf packs and keep track of the birth and growth of wolf cubs.
Toward peaceful (and profitable) co-existence
Maximising effective communication on wolf-related issues helps remove myths and misconceptions. In areas where the wolf is present, the Return of the Wolf project is reaching out to local stakeholders to raise awareness and understanding. By communicating with more than 20,000 people through various media channels, it acts as a platform for discussion about peaceful human-wolf coexistence.
The overarching goal is to contribute to conservation and rewilding by holding educational events, training and outdoor activities and stakeholder meetings dedicated to wolves and other wildlife. Last but not least, the project team are also working to promote sustainable nature-based tourism and to help local communities take advantage of the opportunities arising from developing nature-based economies.
“Raising the profile of our project at a local and international level inspires us to do even more to improve the conservation status of the wolf and to rewild the territories in which we operate,” says Ecotti.
Scaling up rewilding
Rewilding Europe is part of a burgeoning pan-European rewilding movement which has seen many impressive and inspiring initiatives develop over recent years. With rewilding-related projects continuing to multiply and flourish across the continent, the objective of the ERN is to connect, support and strengthen them.
The ERN has displayed impressive growth since its launch at the WILD10, the World Wilderness Congress in Salamanca in October 2013. It operates on a stronger together philosophy, promoting rewilding as a conservation approach. Members meet regularly – usually via webinar – to share knowledge, insight and examples of best practice.
Rewilding Europe extends a warm welcome to all rewilding initiatives and encourages them to apply for membership of the ERN. Please view this page for more information on application.