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 partner Salviamo l’Orso.

In 2021 and 2022, between 60 and 75 international volunteers and students were active in the Central Apennines. A “bear ambassadors“, they were responsible for a wide range of important tasks in 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.


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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


The general programme may vary according to the season, the weather conditions and locations. We may also need to arrange agreements with local institutions – especially nature reserves and national parks – regarding some specific activities, which could cause changes in the schedule.

The volunteering programme is active between 1st February and 15th December. The minimum stay is one month but we recommend volunteering at least two or three months.We recommend volunteers/students to arrive around the first day of the month.



Be comfortable with walking/hiking in the mountains.

Be comfortable with working and living with other volunteers.

Have a valid tetanus vaccination.


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. Most of the work you will contribute to is outdoors and practical, focussing on conservation actions, infrastructure management and monitoring. Other secondary activities include communication tasks and enterprise support. You will also be actively involved in the internal organisation of the group of volunteers (sharing tasks, preparing material, inventories of tools, paperwork…).

Scientific research and monitoring activities

  • Camera trap management (systematic and random wildlife monitoring)
  • Study of human-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 in areas far from human settlements.

Communication actions

  • Write or review articles for the organisation’s communication
  • Support for organisation of public events and fundraising initiatives
  • Support in content writing on social media regarding traineeship activities
  • Sharing stories from the field with your own photos and videos


  • Support in enterprise actions to promote local producers and human-wildlife coexistence
  • Offer assistance in any fundraising initiatives
  • Help to find any potential sponsors or funding opportunties.

Education / Learning By Doing

  • Advanced wildlife monitoring techniques (camera trap setting and management; direct wildlife observation with binoculars or spotting scopes; identification of signs of presence of wildlife and collection for genetic analysis etc.
  • Use a GPS
  • Other basic courses depending on the season


Habitat restoration and coexistence actions. Ph. Rewilding Apennines

Evaluation plan

  • Weekly report: at the end of every week, the volunteer/student 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 habitat, if a university project is agreed upon*.

*If you are interested in a thesis project, research project or other written report linked to your university, you can specify it during your volunteering application. 


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 for living in wildlife areas (especially in mitigating human-large carnivore conflicts)
  • Skills in wildlife monitoring
  • Knowledge, skills and competences in the installation of electric fences and maintenance
  • Skills in the use of a GPS
  • Road ecology techniques for the mitigation of wildlife-vehicle collisions
  • Knowledge of data collection and processing
  • Skills 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 rewilding landscape and the coexistence corridors for 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 according to the house you will be assigned to.


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 ancient town, well known for its apples, honey and numerous mountain paths.

Gioia dei Marsi

Casali d’Aschi is a hamlet in the municipality of Gioia dei Marsi: it is close to the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park 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 programme 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

Compatibly with the priority activities, 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
  • Maiella 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 and T-shirts) to us at the end of the traineeship in the original conditions.

  • First aid equipment
  • Binoculars
  • Camera traps
  • Working tools
  • Working gloves, protective goggles and helmets
  • Reflective vests for road ecology interventions
  • Rewilding Apennines stickers and T-shirt (gift)

Equipment to bring with you from home

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

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.


Volunteer protocol for creative content creation

Angela Tavone

There is so much to explore and communicate about in this biodiversity hotspot where people and nature try to live side-by-side. Every location you visit, be it in nature or in a local community, is precious and needs to be treated with respect and with awareness.

Either if you create your own project for university, your own company or other media purposes, adhering to the following is essential for a fruitful collaboration.

If you are a videographer, photographer or other content producer, please follow this series of guidelines to ensure the due respect is shown to habitats, animals, culture and people, the confidentiality of sensitive data is guarded and the vision of Rewilding Apennines is a guiding principle in your creative process.

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), tutoring and Italian incident and public liability insurance; food is not included. It would be desirable for you to also have insurance from your country of residence.

How to apply and confirm your stay

The process to become a volunteer is made of three steps:

  1. Apply with the Volunteer Application Form

Please read carefully the information on this page and the FAQs document above before applying. Then fill in and submit the Volunteer Application Form: find the link below.

  1. Meeting with the Volunteer Coordinator

If your application is successful you will receive a reply within around 14 days to set up a call with the Volunteer Coordinator. During the call you will discuss the details of the programme, any university requirements you might have and the dates. Be sure to check your spam inbox too.

  1. Confirmation

After the call the Volunteer Coordinator will let you know if you can proceed with reserving a place. Once she lets you know, pay the 40-euro place-holder using the instructions below and send a proof of payment by email. She will then send you an email to confirm your reservation.

How to pay the place-holder

Only after meeting and confirmation by staff

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
When you make a payment please write in the description your name and


If you haven’t found the answer to your questions in this page nor in the FAQ document you can write to volunteer@rewilding-apennines.com to get in touch with Rewilding Apennines’ contact person. If you want to apply to become a volunteer please use the Volunteer Application form above.

We look forward to seeing you in the Central Apennines!