Rewilding Apennines joins the “A future for the bear” event

September 9, 2023

Rewilding Apennines joins the numerous associations that have organized a demonstration in memory of the Amarena the bear, to ask the authorities and law enforcement agencies for greater control of the territory and commitment to the protection of fauna and for citizens to actively participate in putting into practice a real coexistence. The initiative will be held on Sunday 10 September at 10:00 in Piazza Mazzarino in Pescina (AQ).

A specimen of Marsican brown bear.
Bruno D'Amicis

The tragic episode of killing of Amarena the bear is a very serious event for the conservation of the small population of Marsican brown bear, a unique subspecies in the world, because it affects a reproductive female who will no longer be able to contribute to the growth of the population, as she had demonstrated so far. And it is a very serious fact because, beyond the moral condemnation of a heinous crime against a wild animal at risk of extinction, it constitutes the danger of obscuring the hard work carried out over the last 9 years – when another bear had been shot – with the communities and for the communities in the name of human-bear coexistence.

For these and many other reasons it is important that many people who share the territory with the bear are present at the event on Sunday, to ask:

  • To the judiciary and the police to complete the investigations quickly and prepare a trial with the prospect of an exemplary punishment for those who are guilty of this very serious act, without any fury, but in the belief that such actions cannot be resolved with the payment of a simple fine. As soon as it is technically possible, Rewilding Apennines, like many other organizations and institutions, will also form a civil party.
  • An extraordinary commitment to citizens and local authorities to ensure the survival, free and in nature, of the two Amarena’s cubs.
  • To the Ministry and the Regions to support and strengthen the management measures that regulate the relationship between humans and animals so that the climate of hatred ends towards Italian fauna, which is fueling the acts of poaching and cruelty against it that we witness on a daily basis. In this regard, it is worth mentioning several bear specimens that vanished into thin air after having caused so much talk about themselves, and others who died from causes other than poaching but whose necropsies revealed the presence of bullets in their bodies.
  • To all press agencies and journalists, to avoid alarmist tones like “Domenica del Corriere” when talking about wildlife and large carnivores, because they increase the perception of unjustified fear, and to always make use of scientifically valid sources in order to write correctly the information.
  • To the police to strengthen control activities in the area to prevent crimes against animals and, more generally, against the extraordinary natural heritage of our Country. This must certainly be accompanied by a tightening of penalties for those who are guilty of these crimes, so that this constitutes a social and moral warning.
  • Local authorities need to strengthen management policies capable of guaranteeing coexistence between human activities and wild species, starting with large predators, through the dissemination of correct knowledge, good behavioral practices and tools for preventing and compensating for damage.

Rewilding Apennines is convinced that the resolution of all these requests can really significantly improve the coexistence between human and wildlife, not only in the Central Apennines, but throughout the Country.

In this regard, it is worth remembering the concrete commitment that Rewilding Apennines puts in place through the LIFE Bear-Smart Corridors initiative, together with Rewilding Europe, other local NGOs such as Salviamo l’Orso, park and reserve authorities and some municipal administrations, to increase people’s sensitivity and awareness towards the protection of the Marsican bear, the need to engage as individuals and as a community in a whole series of good practices that keep bears away from towns and from anthropogenic food sources, and the urgency of making the ecological corridors safer places for the movement of bears, from the point of view of infrastructure and ecological traps, because this is the only possibility that the bear population has to leave the refuge area of the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park, expand and grow in number in other feasible areas. Therefore, the responsibility of helping this species to overcome the risk of extinction lies in the communities and the stronger the collective sense of belonging to this extraordinary natural heritage of which the bear is the iconic symbol, the more effective will be the community mobilization that, with conviction, live “bear-smart”.

Like the person responsible for killing Amarena the bear, today there are still many individuals who threaten the survival of fauna in Italy, on multiple levels, through poisoning, poaching and habitat fragmentation. At the species level, as for the Marsican bear, for which every single specimen counts; at a population level, as for the Griffon vulture; at the group level as for a pack of wolves, and at the individual level as for many wildlife species. Through the constant monitoring of a vast area of the Central Apennines, Rewilding Apennines has already identified and denounced numerous episodes of fauna poisoning and this shows that there is still a great work to be done to switch from the practice of poison – a cruel and indiscriminate means which also disadvantages who uses it – to the culture of coexistence, the only path that benefits both nature and people.

It is with this spirit of renewed activism that Rewilding Apennines wants to team up with those who, sharing the aforementioned requests, will participate in Sunday’s demonstration to influence social and cultural progress that cannot be separated from taking care of the nature of which we are a part.