Since the wolf returned to the Alps, the human-wolf conflict increased in many rural regions. Especially livestock farmers and nature conservationists seem to disagree on how to solve this conflict. As multiple studies have shown, proper implementation of livestock protection measures are effective to minimise the risk of wolf-livestock depredation. Also the European Commission confirmed this once again recently, answering questions from the EU-Region Salzburg-Traunstein-Berchtesgaden. The European Union has stated that such protection measures and depredation damages are important and can be compensated, to support local farmers to adapt to these new circumstances. Nevertheless, many livestock farmers are hesitant or not yet able to implement effective livestock protection on their land.
Please also read: Support livestock protection in the Alps!
Therefore, the provincial association BIO AUSTRIA for Lower Austria and Vienna took lead in submitting a project concept in June 2019, with support from the European Wilderness Society. The project concept note passed the first round and was invited to submit a Full Proposal by February 11th. For the last months, European Wilderness Society has been working together with a consortium of 18 partners to submit this Full Proposal successfully. In June 2020, the final evaluation of the project will take place.
The project LIFEstockProtect is the first in Europe, where agricultural organisations with livestock farmers are actively working together with livestock protection experts, researchers, environmental organisations, the tourism sector and other stakeholder such as the Austrian centre for Large Carnivores, to develop and implement livestock protection training. The objective of the project is to establish and improve livestock protection in the German-speaking Alps and surrounding Alpine lowlands. The project activities will focus on entire Austria, Bavaria (Germany) and South Tyrol (Italy).
Activities to support livestock protection
LIFEstockProtect will include at least 150 activities with over 4 000 participants, including workshops, seminars and training. Implemented through local farmers’ associations, the project will support livestock farmers by:
- Establishing at least 20 Livestock Protection Competence Centres
- Training at least 1 000 livestock farmers on livestock protection
- Training at least 100 professional livestock protection consultants
- Deploying at least 20 livestock protection material sets with emergency equipment
To increase the tolerance and acceptance towards the implementation of livestock protection, LIFEstockProtect will:
- Organise and train at least 250 volunteers to support livestock farmers and shepherds
- Train at least 100 livestock protection ambassadors
- Hold youth education workshops with at least 140 school classes
- Organise public conferences and workshops with at least 500 participants
- Visit at least 20 agricultural fairs and events to promote livestock protection measures
- Establish at least 9 Thematic Working Groups with key stakeholders to address most urgent challenges regarding the implementation of livestock protection
- Develop and display a public exhibition with at least 30 000 visitors
- And have a strong online and media presence in the project region.
Furthermore, the project will develop and train 20 special scat detection dogs that will be able to assist in rapid assessments of wolf presence, in case of depredations as well as preemptive wolf surveillance.
- Leadpartner: BIO AUSTRIA Niederösterreich und Wien
- Österreichzentrum Bär, Wolf, Luchs (stellvertretend für alle Bundesländer)
- VetMedUni Wien
- Naturschutzbund Österreich
- Umweltdachverband Österreich
- BIO AUSTRIA Bundesverband
- Tourismusverband Tiroler Oberland
- European Wilderness Society
- Naturschutzhunde – Spürhunde im Natur- und Artenschutz
- Bioland Bayern
- Bioland Beratung GmbH
- BUND Naturschutz in Bayern
- Arbeitsgemeinschaft für die biologisch-dynamische Wirtschaftsweise
- EURAC Research
- Naturmuseum Bozen