Volunteering programme

Volunteering programme

Rewilding the Central Apennines requires a huge amount of effort, and many human resources. Thankfully we can count on the precious work of volunteers who come from around the world to participate in nature conservation actions implemented by Rewilding Apennines and our partners Salviamo l’Orso.

Only in 2021 more than 60 international volunteers and students were active in the Central Apennines. Acting as “bear ambassadors“, they were responsible for a wide range of highly important tasks across five wildlife corridors. These included barbed wire removal, setting up warning reflectors and road signs to prevent bear-related traffic accidents, communications work, the installation of camera traps, and wildlife monitoring.

Rewilding Apennines is looking for committed volunteers, students and Erasmus Plus trainees to play a key role in rewilding.

Are you the person we are searching for?

Are you the person we are searching for?

Volunteering Programme Information

 

Keystone species conservation

Focus on the Marsican brown bear
You will be involved in actions linked to the creation of Bear Smart Communities (BSCs) in the home range of the Marsican brown bear (Ursus arctos marsicanus, Altobello 1921). This is an ambitious long-term initiative and we rely on your commitment, skills and abilities to achieve the complex goals of human-wildlife coexistence.

Important actions will also be performed in relation to Griffon vultures, Apennine wolf, and wildcat.

Keystone species in the Central Apennines: Marsican brown bear, Apennine wolf, griffon vulture, wildcat. Ph. Bruno D’Amicis

Timing

The general programme may vary according to weather conditions and locations, as we may need to arrange agreements with local institutions – especially nature reserves and national parks – regarding some specific activities.

You can consider joining us in the period February – 15th  December for groups of volunteers/students possibly arriving and leaving at the same time.

*Note: because of the current situation due to Covid19 we are flexible with dates. Please contact us to make arrangements regarding the date of your arrival.

Volunteering activities in the Central Apennines Ph. Bruno D’Amicis /  Rewilding Apennines

 

Programme overview

Your time is a valuable resource and we will ensure you will have a varied and fulfilling range of activities.

Scientific research and monitoring activities:

  • Camera trap management (systematic and random wildlife monitoring)
  • Study of man/bear relationship
  • Monitor wildlife species in the study areas (Marsican bear, Apennine wolf, wildcat, griffon vultures etc.), using the Earth Ranger app.
  • Wildlife observations

Infrastructure management:

  • Construction and maintenance of electric fences
  • Set-up wildlife warning reflectors, road signs and delineators for road ecology purposes
  • Clear underpasses for road ecology purposes
  • Remove waste from natural environments
  • Remove barbed wire from the natural environment
  • Check the efficiency of bear-proof waste bins
  • Prune wild or unused fruit trees to increase food sources for bears and other species outside the urban centres

Communication actions:

  • Write or review articles for the organisation’s newsletter
  • Support for organisation of public events and fundraising events
  • Support in content writing on social media regarding traineeship activities

Enterprise:

  • Support in carrying out a Landscape Business Plan
  • Offer assistance in any fundraising initiatives
  • Help to find any potential sponsors or funding opportunities

Education / Learning By Doing:

  • GPS elementary course
  • Cartography course
  • Advance wildlife monitoring techniques (camera trap setting and management; direct observation with binoculars or spotting scopes; identification of signs of presence of wildlife and collection for genetic analysis etc.)
Habitat restoration and coexistence actions. Ph. Rewilding Apennines

Evaluation plan

  • Weekly report: at the end of every week, as a volunteer/student you will report the actions performed and their effectiveness to the volunteer supervisor
  • Scientific research: the volunteer/student will produce a scientific-based final report about a specific issue related to the conservation of bears or other wildlife species or their environments.

 

 

Knowledge, skills and competences

At the end of your traineeship it is expected you will have acquired the following learning outcomes.

  • Knowledge of the best practices of wildlife management (especially in mitigating human-large carnivore conflicts)
  • Skills and competences in wildlife monitoring
  • Knowledge, skills and competences in the installation of electric fences and maintenance
  • Skills and competences in the use of GPS
  • Road ecology techniques for the mitigation of wildlife-vehicle collisions
  • Skills and competences in data collection and processing
  • Skills and competences in dissemination of bear smart communities’ best practices
  • Skills in the organisation of events and activities to raise local people’s environmental awareness
  • Skills and competences in the identification of botanical and faunal species
  • Knowledge of (basic) Italian language, culture and traditions

The Region

The map shows the current home range of the Marsican brown bear.

Map of bear-smart corridors and volunteer accommodation in the Central Apennines

As a volunteer, student or intern you will be staying in one of the three towns highlighted on the map: Ortona dei Marsi, Gioia dei Marsi or Pettorano sul Gizio. Generally you will take part in activities in all areas, with some variations.

 

Ortona dei Marsi

The activities will mainly take place inside the bear’s core range, in particular at the border with the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park and its buffer zone (ZPE) in the municipalities that are part of the Marsica region and in the Sirente Velino Regional Park.

Ortona dei Marsi is an antique town, well known for it’s apples, honey and numerous mountain paths.

Gioia dei Marsi

A hamlet in the municipality of Gioia dei Marsi: it is close to the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park (PNALM) and to one of the best viewing-spots for seeing bears in the region.

It is also located in the wildlife corridor connecting the National Park to the Simbruini Mountains National Park.

Pettorano sul Gizio

The project will also take place in this part of the bear’s core range, and especially in the Special Area of Conservation (SAC) IT7110100 (5,805 ha). Several activities will be carried out as a collaboration with the Monte Genzana Alto Gizio Regional Nature Reserve.

The town of Pettorano is located inside the Regional Reserve itself.

Rewilding Apennines Team leader, Mario Cipollone, and Communications Officer, Angela Tavone, monitoring wildlife together with Mount Genzana Nature Reserve Field Officer, Antonio Monaco. Central Apennines, Italy. 2020
Monitoring wildlife in the Monte Genzana Alto Gizio Nature Reserve. Ph. Bruno D’Amicis

 

Hiking in the region

Hikes will be organised to better familiarize yourself with the landscape and biodiversity of the Central Apennines. These can take place in the following protected areas:

  • Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park
  • Majella National Park
  • Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park
  • Sirente Velino Regional Park
  • Monte Genzana Alto Gizio Nature Reserve
  • Montagne della Duchessa Nature Reserve
  • Abetina di Rosello Nature Reserve
  • Zompo Lo Schioppo Nature Reserve

Equipment from Rewilding Apennines

To ensure the quality and safety of your work we will provide you with equipment. Please treat it with care and return it (except for stickers) to us at the end of the traineeship in the original conditions.

  • First aid equipment
  • Binoculars
  • Camera traps
  • Walkie-talkies
  • Working tools
  • Working gloves and other personal protective equipment
  • Reflective vests for road ecology interventions
  • Rewilding Apennines stickers

Equipment to bring with you from home

  • A pair of strong trekking shoes,
  • Breathable clothes,
  • Cap
  • Protecve cream (you can buy it also on the spot)
  • Sun glasses
  • Warm clothes for the evening
  • Rain jacket
  • Fleece sweatshirt and a heavy jacket for wildlife observaon at dawn/sunset
  • Sleeping bag

It would be wonderful if you had a GPS programme on your mobile. You can bring also a compass,
even though we will make sure that you do not get lost, do not worry.
Electricity supply in Italy is 220 volts with 3 pin wall sockets. You may need adapters.

Costs and accommodation availability

A 300 € a month fee per volunteer will cover costs including accommodation in guesthouses (heating, Wi-Fi, power and water consumption expenditures included), membership fee, tutoring and Italian incident and public liability insurance. It would be desirable for you to also have an insurance from your country of residence.

You can deposit the 40 € place-holder* by using:

PayPal or a credit/debit card.

 

Bank Transfer

You can make a bank transfer to:
Rewilding Apennines ETS
Via San Giorgio, 5 – 67055 Gioia dei Marsi (AQ)
IBAN: IT 78M0306909606100000169066
BIC: BCITITMM
BANCA INTESA SAN PAOLO
When you make a payment please write in the description your name and
“advance”.

 

*Cancellation policy: this deposit will be returned to you in case you cancel your trip at least 20 days before the arrival date.

How to confirm your stay

1. Talk with our team to confirm date availability
Write an email to volunteer@rewilding-apennines.com to confirm availability for the dates you have in mind.
Once the dates are confirmed you can proceed to the next step.

2. Advance payment
If you want us to reserve a place for you in the programme, you should make a non-refundable advance payment of €40. This amount will then be subtracted to the total fee that you owe for your internship/volunteering experience.
The advance is a way for the organisation to avoid last minute cancellations, that take up slots which could be allowed to other volunteers. More details on how to make payment in the section above.

3. Send an email with the proof of payment
Save a proof of your payment and send it to us by email to confirm your place.

Make sure you confirm your place on time, as we might receive requests by other volunteers.

 

Contact

Please write to volunteer@rewilding-apennines.com to get in touch with Rewilding Apennines’ contact person and begin your rewilding journey as a volunteer!

We look forward to seeing you in the Apennines!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.