Greece and Italy
In Greece, the project will improve habitat quality and permeability over ca. 650 km2 increasing dispersal opportunities in two important corridors for bears. The proposed measures will improve living conditions for bears, develop positive coexistence between bears, local people and communities, which in turn will enhance the chances for the long-term survival of the brown bears.
In Italy, the project area extends over 2,400 km2. Whitin this area, conditions for bears are enhanced in four critical dispersal corridors for bears, covering 1,100 km2 and connectivity is improved in protected areas including of more than 1,300 km2 of habitat. This is available habitat which is considered suitable for bear expansion but is currently underoccupied because of poor conditions in the connecting corridors. Ultimately, this will facilitate a significant expansion of Apennine brown bears and establish a harmonious connection with local communities.
The project area includes 22 Natura 2000 sites in the Central Apennines and a further 6 in Greece. As an umbrella species, bear conservation also improves habitat conditions for many species of community interest that will also benefit from the conservation and management measures implemented in the Natura 2000 sites, for example, wolf (Canis lupus), wild cat (Felis silvestris) and griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus).
Journey through the ecological corridors of Greece and Italy
Read about each area virtually to see the key locations where we will develop the LIFE Bear-Smart corridors actions.
Photos, videos and interesting insights from the field will be added in time to promote shared initiatives with the residents and to spread as much as possible the culture of human-wildlife coexistence.
In Italy, the area where the activity of the LIFE Bear-Smart Corridors takes place extends over the Central Apennines, a massive mountain range that has a diverse landscape from peaks over 3000 meters to deep gorges, alpine meadows and prairies and some of the most ancient beech forests of Europe. The Marsican brown bear, Apennine wolf, red deer, Golden eagle, Griffon vulture are found here alongside a myriad of other rare or endemic fauna and flora.
The project area encompasses 2,400 km2, and is looking to improve conditions for the endemic and endangered sub-species of Marsican brown bear in four critical ecological corridors, defined also as “coexistence corridors” covering 1,100 km2. These corridors connect the main protected areas of the region, such as the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park, the Maiella National Park and the Sirente Velino Regional Park. We focus on the connection between the local communities and wilder nature as a means to expand the bear population while maintaining coexistence.
Biodiversity is in decline worldwide and effective conservation measures are necessary for maintaining intact ecosystem processes and securing human survival. One of the main aims of the LIFE Bear Smart Corridors project is to safeguard the functionality of the important movement corridors for bears in the project areas. Recent genetic research in the country has indicated two such corridors that connect bears from Trikala to Amyntaio and from there further north. Corridor functionality will be evaluated through three different, but complementary methodologies:
- Genetic sampling and analysis
- Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis, which will combine all the data above and evaluate corridor functionality.