Wolves poisoned in Italy

Five wolves poisoned in Bologna Apennines

Environment News

Five wolves were found poisoned in the Bolognese Apennines in a two-week period in January, forest rangers said on Wednesday. The were the likely victims of Italian farmers or hunters.

The president of the eastern Emilian parks agency, Sandro Ceccoli, and the head of its environmental department, David Bianco said, “An entire pack has been swept away, it is a ‘bio-cide’.”

Killed by powerful rat poison

The animals’ bodies were found in a two-kilometre area in the Caprara locality, in the heart of the historic Monte Sole Park.

“I think we have been faced with a negative national record,” said Bianco. “In the past we have happened to find wolves poisoned, but never anything like this”.

The animals were killed by powerful rat poison.

“It’s an extremely serious case,” added Ceccoli. “Also because there are no sheep in the Monte Sole Park or any other livestock farms, and the wolves live in equilibrium, without creating problems”.

Wolf Study

Wolves are a protected species in Italy and also essential to the balance of the ecosystem. Italy’s once-threatened wolf population is thriving and has grown to an estimated 3,300 animals, according to a study coordinated by the ISPRA environmental agency published on 17th May.

The report said around 950 of the wolves live in Alpine areas. Meanwhile 2,400 are spread out along the rest of the Italian peninsula.

“It is possible to say that the species occupies almost all of the environments that are suitable for it” in Italy, the study said. “The wolf population has grown everywhere, although the increase in the Alps is more significant.”

Giampiero Sammuri, the president of the Federparchi federation bringing together agencies that run national parks and nature reserves, said the study highlighted the success of the conservation efforts conducted in recent decades. He added it proved the species “is no longer endangered” here.

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