Home Newsletter 2009 Training for the assessment of damage on livestock in Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park

by Umberto di Nicola

The LIFE EX-TRA project foresees the development of a series of training courses for the assessment of the damage caused by large carnivores on livestock.

These are theoretical and practical courses that aim at the training of field personnel (staff of the forest administration, veterinaries, biologists and naturalists) in topics such as collection of damage claims, field damage assessment and damage prevention.

The first of these courses has taken place in Farindola, in the territory of the Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park, from 20 to 22 October. The course was taught by highly specialised personnel, which has provided information about: the biology and predatory behaviour of wolves and dogs, the registration of signs of presence, monitoring techniques, the national (Italian) legislation about damage prevention and compensation, and techniques for the assessment of predation events, diseases, traumas, fake predations and attempts of fraud.
Besides the technical part the course has included also a practical training that involved the diagnostic assessment of wolf and red deer carcasses and the assessment of a field predation event on sheep.
The course has been attended by the personnel of the three involved Italian National Parks and by technical staff from Romania, Bulgaria and Greece. Due to its practical approach it has been very appreciated by the field personnel, who have had the possibility to take home many indications to apply on the ground in their own project areas.