By Luigi Boitani, Council of Europe
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Additional resources for Action Plan for the Conservation of Wolves in Europe
Assess the feasability for an economic exploitation of the wolf. 10. Public involvement in wolf management Wolf conservation is most successful when it is accepted by the local community. If the affected people oppose the presence or return of wolves on a large scale, they will try to kill the wolves. Either the eradication of wolves is the result, or an expensive guarding system is necessary to enforce legal protection. We believe that local acceptance of the wolf, especially when the species is recovering after a period of absence, can not be achieved without a damage compensation program.
D. more efficient. D. in areas where new populations of wolves cause problem to farmers. Ds. (helped by the presence of a shepherd) are the most efficient way to protect livestock from wolf attacks, this technique will not be suitable in every area in Europe at a local scale or for some species of livestock. Therefore, the utilisation of other techniques should be strongly encouraged, and research and tests are extremely useful. 2. Wolf damage to livestock: compensation One of the most important steps in helping mitigating the conflict between farmers and wolves is a system of compensation of the damages caused by the wolves.
A limited amount of depredation appears to be unavoidable in wolf country and it can be acceptable for conservation purposes, but extensive damages can hardly be tolerated. In some countries the size of flocks can be a consequence of a new economic situation. For example several subsidies given by the European Union depend on the size of the flock (without these subsidies shepherds would have disappeared from entire areas): the more sheep you have, the bigger the subsidy. In some places this causes the flocks to increase to thousands of animals, and this is inconsistent with efficient guarding.
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