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The ALPARC (Alpine Network of Protected Areas) Large carnivores working group was created during the ALPARC Conference in Belluno in 1999. Over the course of various thematic meetings, the group has taken shape, defining objectives and practical activities to be undertaken.

The group has worked incredibly hard, notably on preserving large carnivores in the Alps; providing accurate biological and demographic information about bears, wolves and lynx; investigating strategies that can promote the social, economic and cultural conditions that will allow humans and these three species to coexist; experimenting with solutions that can be used to resolve conflicts, and establishing a cooperation network with other organisations and associations.

In order to achieve its aims, the working group has appointed the Adamello Brenta Nature Park as lead partner and has defined specific activities designed to foster constructive partnerships whilst also engaging in awareness-raising activities, ongoing species monitoring and the development of a common conservation strategy for each species. 

What was the purpose of the questionnaire?

Up to now, the working group's activities have not been as effective as we had hoped, largely due to the fact that very few Alpine protected areas have been involved in the activities suggested by the Adamello Brenta Nature Park and by the Task Force Protected Areas, which coordinates ALPARC's activities.
Consequently, at the meeting held in Mittersill (Hohe Tauern National Park, Austria) in 2009 during the Danilo Re Memorial , a decision was taken to send out a questionnaire to all Alpine protected areas with a view to establishing the level of interest in the Large carnivores working group, reviewing its role and considering how it could be developed.
The questionnaire was designed by the Adamello Brenta Nature Park in consultation with the Task Force Protected Areas. It also sought to identify the conservation activities undertaken by Alpine protected areas in relation to bears, wolves and lynx. 

The results of the questionnaire

Although we sent out a total of 211 questionnaires to the managers of nearly all protected areas, we only received 15 responses.The questionnaire's primary aim was to establish whether protected areas were or might be interested in contributing to the activities of the Large carnivores working group. The poor response rate gives a clear signal about how much effort and activity is devoted to the issue on the ground.

The information obtained from the questionnaires does not appear to be representative and is therefore not deemed to provide a useful overview of the current and planned activities within the protected areas in relation to large carnivore conservation in the Alps. However, some interesting avenues for exploration have emerged, not least across-the-board demand for greater cooperation between protected areas.

More specifically, 14 of the 15 protected areas who returned the questionnaire stressed the need to establish cooperation and to pool specific and up-to-date information with a view to defining a common conservation strategy for the bear, wolf and lynx populations. In addition, the responses highlighted the lack of trans-Alpine cooperation on large carnivores plus the need to agree on objectives and content that could be more effective if undertaken as a shared initiative. The protected areas suggested that a protocol was required in order to standardise monitoring methods and use of monitoring data. Lastly, the protected areas flagged up the need to create ecological corridors between protected areas and to facilitate exchanges of information and good practice, particularly on the subject of minimising social conflict linked to human production activities.

Source: Adamello Brenta Nature Park et ALPARC (Alpine Network of Protected Areas) 

Filippo Zibordi
Parco Naturale Adamello Brenta

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Tuesday, 04 January 2011 01:00

The otter returns to the Alps

 Otters continue to astonish the scientific community. For decades, the otter was on the brink of extinction but the population is now growing rapidly without any human assistance. Sightings of the mammals, which are part of the weasel family (Mustelidae), are becoming more common throughout the Alps, particularly in Austria, France, Germany and Switzerland.

The species was seriously endangered in the 19th century, when otters were hunted down both for their fur and because they were believed to be rapacious predators of fish. A ban on hunting otters failed to halt the population's decline, which was primarily caused by damage to their natural habitat.

Up to now, otters were believed to have survived in a only few places: the Inn and Ziller rivers (Tyrol, Austria), in the Fecht (Alsace, France) and in the Ticino river (Lombardy, Italy) following a reintroduction programme.

However, in recent years otters from the Laming valley (Styria, Austria) have moved further afield, with sightings reported around the Swiss Domat hydroelectric plant since December 2009. Other sightings have been recorded in recent months in the Rhone-Alps region in France – close to the Monts d'Ardèche Regional Nature Park and the Ile de la Platière Nature Reserve. 

 This is definitely good news, news which gives us reason to hope that otters will gradually return to populate the whole of the Alpine massif.


NZZ online (German)

Office for hunting and fishing of the Graubünden (German, Italian and Romansh)

Association pro lutra (German and French)

Rheinaubund (German)

3 sat (German)

Spiegel online (German)

Enviscope (French) (French)

Corriere della (Italian) 

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Friday, 13 January 2012 01:00

Youth summit on climate issues in Entlebuch

 "My clime-mate" is an international exchange programme that is part of the dynAlp-climate project, which is focussed on climate issues. The programme is the brainchild of the "Alliance in Alps " network of local authorities and "Youth in Action ", which also fund the project.

The programme brings together young people from 10 municipalities which are members of the Alliance in the Alps. The young people considered the subject of climate change in the Alps, planned meetings and set up joint climate-related activities.

Young people from Austria, France, Italy, Slovenia and Switzerland were actively involved in the project, organising a wide range of events and activities. They also set up exchange schemes, which provided an opportunity to discuss the subject in detail

At the end of October, all the young people and moderators gathered in Sörenberg (Switzerland) for the final meeting. They compared notes on their expereiences and discussed where to go next as the programme drew to an end

For more information, go to

Source: Youth summit on climate issues, Entlebuch (German, French, Italian)

Published in News from the Alps

 From 17th to 19th October 2012 will be held an international conference on “Vegetation Prodrome of Europe”, in IGN headquarters, in Saint Mandé (94), France.

This conference is co-organized by the Société Française de Phytosociologie (French Society for Phytosociology) and the Ministère de l’Écologie, du Développement Durable et de l’Énergie (Ministry for Ecology, Sustainable Development & Energy), in the context of the revision of the Prodrome of the vegetation of France, started in 2006.

These two days will be the occasion to present the status of progress the vegetation prodrome of France and the declination of the classes to the level of associations. The participation of vegetation prodrome of France to build a synsystem of vegetation of Europe will be discussed too. Then the use of the results of the prodrome in the CarHAB program will be discussed.

Participation to this conference is open to all and requires mandatory registration (due to limited space). Online registration is available through webpage.

For further information please contact

Progetto Interreg Italia-Svizzera GREAT - Grandi Erbivori negli Ecosistemi Alpini in Trasformazione
Programma di Cooperazione Transfrontaliera Italia-Svizzera 2007-2013 Unione Europea FESR

under the endorsement of:
Alpine Network of Protected Areas ALPARC
IUCN Caprinae Specialist Group


The Gran Paradiso National Park and the Swiss National Park are pleased to invite you to the 22nd Meeting of the Alpine Ibex European Specialist Group - Gruppo Stambecco Europa (GSE- AIESG) that will be held in Zernez (Swiss National Park) on 26-28 October 2012.
The aim of the meeting is to update the knowledge on the status and distribution of Alpine ibex and to share the results of the latest research on this species. The conference is open to researchers, experts, managers and to everybody interested in this species.
The scientific programme will include invited lectures, contributed talks and posters. The programme will be divided into a session on the s tatus and distribution of Alpine ibex populations and various thematic sessions on genetics, population ecology, behaviour, physiology, diseases and conservation.
The tentative schedule of the meeting will be as follows:
26 october, afternoon: Opening of the meeting and session: Overview on status and distribution of populations
27 october, morning and afternoon: Thematic sessions.
28 october, morning: Excursion in the Swiss National Park and closing of the meeting.
The session overview on status and distribution of populations will include only invited lectures (one contribution for each nation where the species is present with the aim to present the general situation of that country).
The official languages of the meeting will be Italian, German, French and English. Translation services will be provided.
The deadline for registration and submission of contributions is 31st August 2012. Registration to the meeting is free but only delegates who registered before the deadline will be allowed to attend. To register to the meeting please fill the online registration form.
Delegates who want to present a contribution are asked to send a brief abstract (max 250 words) including title, authors and affiliations, type of contribution (oral presentation or poster), in english language along with the online registration form. Each speaker will have 15 minutes available for their presentation and 5 minutes for questions. Delegates will receive a confirmation of their registration and submission within two weeks after the deadline.
Swiss National Park is easily accessible with public transport or by car, instruction on how to reach Zernez are available at
Zernez offer a wide range of hotels for accommodation, a list of hotels will be provided with the second announcement to all registered delegates.
The Second announcement, with informations on accommodation and the detailed programme, will be sent only to delegates registered before the deadline.
Hoping in a wide participation we look forward to your registration and to welcome you in Zernez!

Bruno Bassano (Gran Paradiso National Park)
Flurin Filli (Swiss National Park)
Achaz von Hardenberg (Gran Paradiso National Park)
Ruedi Haller (Swiss National Park)
Alice Brambilla (DISTA, University of Pavia, Italy)
Seraina Campbell (Swiss National Park)

Ente Parco Nazionale Gran Paradiso
Servizio sanitario e della ricerca scientifica
Via della Rocca, 47 - 10123 – Torino (Italy)
tel. +39-11-8606211
e mail address for correspondence: 

Thursday, 10 May 2012 02:00

Wilderness in Austria

Wilderness areas are almost virgin spaces, without any human touch.

 To permit a transmission to the future generations of entirely intact natural spaces, we have to conserve them and, as far as possible, to restore areas of savage nature.

In the frame of the partnership “together for biodiversity”, the Austrian office of forests and WWF realized an enquiry of experts at this subject, containing ecological as well as social and politic aspects.  


You can download this document (only in German language) at the following link: 

Published in News from the Alps

It is a great reward for the National Park Gran Paradiso and the Region Valle d’Aosta, both very proud of their contribution to this fantastic reintroduction project of a particularly emblematic species of the alpine fauna.

 After almost 100 years of efforts both the National Park Gran Paradiso and the Region Valle d’Aosta, very symbolic locations of the nature protection history of the Alps, could celebrate a particular recompense and underline their pride of having actively contributed to this important action, whose aim was no less then to reintroduce to the mountain range a species that was since long absent of the Alps.

Champagne and Iris (that are the names given to the chicks by the scholars of the two valleys Valle di Rhêmes und Valsavarenche) were born in April 2012. Regarding the few individuals of the species present in the Alps this event can be considered as exceptionally, even more since the species is present in the western Alps only since a very short time thanks to the international reintroduction project.  

 Both birth and the successful take off of the young bearded vultures are for the National Park and the Region one of the most encouraging news of the latest bearded vulture protection history. With the salvation of the alpine ibex in the 19th century the National Park has not only ensured the conservation of one of the most symbolic figures of the alpine fauna but it has also laid the foundation for the comeback of the bearded vulture hundred years later, as this species is closely dependent on the food supply provided by a healthy ibex population.

Thus we have come full circle! 

 Amorcée dès la création du Conservatoire botanique national alpin, il y a de cela bientôt 20 ans, la collecte de publications scientifiques, en lien avec les thématiques de travail du CBNA, a permis la constitution d'un fonds documentaire aujourd'hui riche de plus de 26 600 références.

Conservatoire botanique national alpin
Siège : Domaine de Charance – 05000 Gap – Tél. 00 33 (0)4 92 53 56 82 – Fax. 00 33 (0)4 92 51 94 58
Antenne Alpes du nord / Ain : 148 rue Pasteur –73000 Chambéry – Tél. 00 33 (0)4 79 33 45 04 

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Dossier « réintroduction du bouquetin des Alpes sur la Réserve Naturelle des Hauts de Chartreuse »

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Thursday, 10 April 2014 02:00

Large carnivores know no boundaries

The European populations of large carnivores at a glance. Official publication of the European Communities, 2 pages

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