ACTION C.2 – Conflict mitigation in the hot spot areas – damage cases
Damage to human property (e.g. beehives, livestock, orchards, fields, gardens, silage bales) is one of the most important causes for human-bear conflicts. Beside the loss of property, these locations also act as additional attractant for bears to approach human settlements and can cause bear habituation to human presence and food-conditioning.
In Slovenia and in Italian province Regione del Veneto best practice examples on the hotspots with frequent bear damages will be implemented. This will involve protection of livestock, beehives, orchards or individual fruit trees, fields, and gardens. We will use different protection techniques, which include electric fences and other devices for deterring brown bears from causing damages.
Two crucial goals of this project will be achieved within this action. With proper protection of human property the appearance of damage cases will be prevented so we expect that human acceptance of local inhabitants will be raised. At the same time attractants for bears in the vicinity of human settlements will be protected and for bears consequently removed. So they will not cause habituation of bears on human presence any more.
One of the most effective methods for damage protection is the use of livestock guarding dogs (LGDs), which has been almost entirely abandoned in Slovenia. Within a LIFE+ project on wolves (SloWolf) we already donated guarding dogs to some interested sheep breeders and started to educate individual breeders how to properly raise LGDs. In this action we would like to build upon this foundation and establish a working line of LGDs and a network of dedicated livestock guarding dog breeders in Slovenia and in Italy. We will select at least five motivated livestock breeders who will prove their interest and competences to develop a working line of livestock guardian dogs. The breeders will also become future advisors/experts in the area of breeding, advising on LGDs upbringing, and later follow up on the dogs placed with their new owners.
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