Brown Bear Reintroduction & Translocation in Italy


Cetto, A., Fraquelli, C., and Zanghellini, P. 2005.
Orso Bruno e attività antropiche in Trentino: strumenti e azioni volte a mitigare i conflitti. Criticità.
[Brown Bears and human activities in Trentino: means and actions adopted for reducing conflict. Critical areas.] In: Ciucci, P., Teofili, C., and Boitani, L. Grandi Carnivori e Zootecnia tra conflitto e coesistenza. Biol. Cons. Fauna 115, 88-97. Istituto Nazionale per la Fauna Selvatica "Alessandro Ghigi".

At the end of the 1990s a last group of native alpine brown bears survived in Trentino. The few remaining bears were unable to reproduce. In 1999 a project to reintroduce the brown bear was initiated, co-ordinated by the Adamello-Brenta Nature Park, with the financial support of the European Community. During the period 1999-2002, 10 brown bears from the Slovenia population were released in Trentino. These have since started to reproduce. In autumn 2003 there were at least three young bears present in the province. Since 1999 the brown bear has also been sighted occasionally in the eastern part of the province, following natural range expansion from the Slovenian-Austrian bear population. The increased number of bears and the broader distribution of the species has made it necessary for the Autonomous Province of Trento to update regulatory, procedural and organisational measures with the aim of best responding to new needs in terms of management. In 2002, the Government of the Autonomous Province of Trento established operational policy for the management of brown bears within the province, adopted specific "Action Plans" and identified the Forest and Wildlife Department as the provincial body of reference. The reorganisation, which has already taken place, may be followed by further improvements or modifications, according to a process conditioned and guided by future case studies, requirements and experience. This report quantifies and gives a concise description of the most important initiatives implemented in the last few years with the aim of alleviating conflict resulting from the presence of brown bears and human activities. It also highlights some critical areas.





Dupré, E., Genovesi, P., and Pedrotti, L. 1998.
L'Orso burno nelle Alpi Centrali.
Adamello Brenta 2[2], 2-6. 1998. Strembo (Trento, Italy), Parco Adamello Brenta.

As the brown bear population size in the Adamello Brenta Natural Park is very low, it was proposed to release Slovenian individuals to the Park in order to increase the size and to guarantee a sustainable population. Prior to the release, a feasibility study for the project was mandated and the probability of success evaluated. The authors here describe the aspects that are important for a successful reinforcement of the population.


© Dupré, E.



Dupré, E., Genovesi, P., and Pedrotti, L. 1998.
Studio di fattibilita' per la reintroduzione dell'orso bruno Ursus arctos sulle alpi centrali.

Istituto Nazionale per la Fauna Selvatica "Alessandro Ghigi" & Parco Naturale Adamella Brenta: 1-20.

Based on the analysis of environmental, social and economical data, the authors evaluate the environmental, organisational, administrative and normative aspects of a brown bear reintroduction to the central Alps in Italy. They conclude that a reintroduction is feasible and could lead - in the mid- to long-term - to a successful reestablishment of the species in the region. The major contribution of this report is to define the frame in which this reintroduction attempt is feasible.




Genovesi, P. 2000.
Brown Bear Reintroduction in the Italian Central Alps.
International Bear News 9(3): 13.

The range of the brown bear in Italy is limited to the population of the central Apennines, and to a residual population of three old individuals in the Adamello Brenta Natural Park (central Alps). Some individuals are occasionally recorded on the eastern Alps, arriving from Slovenia and Austria. A translocation project aimed at re-establishing a viable population of at least 50 bears in the central Alps was proposed by the Adamello Brenta Park administration, in cooperation with the Province of Trento. A feasibility study was conducted 1998, and it indicated that the translocation had good probabilities to be successful in the medium to long term. A survey on the attitude of the local population towards the brown bear has been done, and 80% of the residents had a positive opinion towards it. The reintroduction, coordinated by Andrea Mustoni, started in 1999. The goal is for the population to increase, through natural reproduction of the relocated animals over the next 20 to 50 years, to a total of 50 animals in the Central Alps.




Jonozovic, M. and Mustoni, A. 2003.
Translocation of Slovenian brown bears into the Adamello Brenta Natural Park, Italy.
In Living with bears - A large European Carnivore in a Shrinking World: 341-365. Krystufek, B., Flajsman, B., and Griffith, H. I.(Eds.). Slovenia: Ecological Forum of the
Liberal Democracy of Slovnia.

In this paper, the authors describe how they proceeded for the translocation of Slovenian brown bears to the Adamello Brenta Natural Park (Italy). They address each step from the feasibility study to the release and monitoring of the translocated bears.




Mustoni, A., Chiozzini, S., Carlini, E., Chiarenzi, B., Fraquelli, C., Lattuada, E., Martinoli, A., and Tosi, G. 2001.
Reintroduction of brown bear in the Italian Alps: Preparing local people as well as bears.
ITC 8 Conference, Sun City South Africa 12.-16. Aug. 2001.

On this poster, the authors present the work and the steps that are necessary for the reintroduction of brown bears to the Italian Alps. It takes about seven years to prepare local people to it and seven days to catch the bears in Slovenia and release them in Italy.




Mustoni, A., Carlini, E., Chiarenzi, B., Chiozzini, S., Lattuada, E., Dupré, E., Genovesi, P., Pedrotti, L., Martinoli, A., Preatoni, D., Wauters, L. A., and Tosi, G. 2003.
Planning the Brown Bear Ursus Arctos reintroduction in the Adamello Brenta Natural Park. A tool to establish a metapopulation in the central-eastern Alps.
Hystrix 14(1-2): 3-27. 

The last remnant population that occupied the Adamello-Brenta Alps was considered biologically extinct since 1989 (only three, non-reproducing bears). Here we present an analysis of the reintroduction process as the most suitable tool for brown bear recovery in the Italian Alps, taking into account both the benefits of reinstating a viable population and the risks that the coexistence between man and bear could cause. The reintroduction process is dicussed aiming at an evaluation of its contribution to the global future efforts for brown bear conservation in the alpine region.
A GIS-based habitat suitability analysis was implemented to test for good-quality bear habitat in a vast mountainous area around the Adamello-Brents Natural Park (6500 km²) , the release site of bears. The Model was based on presence/absence data, gathered over the last 20 years, and habitat parameters in 25 ha cells in the core-area of the remnant bear population (645 km² study area). Other parameters of human disturbance and livestock densities were considered at the scale of the municipality. Bears positively selected deciduous forest but seemed to avoid areas with intensive pasture activity, mainly of horses and sheep, despite the latter being a potential prey. Habitats containing large amounts of bare rock, farmland and urbanised areas were avoided. There were no significant differences between municipalities with and without bears in human population density and intensity of tourism importance of a wide-scale and detailed analysis of human attitude towards the project and of education strategies to increase acceptance by local people are discussed.




Perco, F. 1989.
La reintroduzione dei grandi predatori nella regione Friuli-Venezia Giulia.
In Reintroduzione dei predatori nella aree protette (Atti del convegno 24./25.6.1987): 110-121. Torino: Regione Piemonte.

In this paper, the author first describes the population size and distribution of the brown bear, the lynx and ungulates in the region Friuli-Venezia Giulia (Italy). He then presents the different natural parks and protected areas in the region. He finally analyses (based on demographical, environmental and sociological aspects) the different ways (naturally or artificially) of re-enforcing or re-introducing the great predators to the different parks and areas.




Preatoni, D., Mustoni, A., Martinoli, A., Carlini, E., Chiarenzi, B., Chiozzini, S., van Dongen, S., Wauters, L. A., and Tosi, G. 2005.
Conservation of brown bear in the Alps: space use and settlement bahavior of reintroduced bears.
A. Oecol. 28: 189-197.
We monitored spacing behavior and settlement of reintroduced brown bears in Adamello-Brenta Natural Park, North-Italy, using radio-tracking. Habitat use, dispersion and survival were studied to evaluate the success of reintroduction and possible conflicts with man. All three males and five of seven females settled in the study area. Most bears roamed widely the first months after release, exploring the new habitat. Patterns of home range overlap between seasons and years revealed that home range use stabilized the year after first hibernation. Home ranges were larger in the mating season (May-July) than in spring or autumn. Home ranges varied between 34 and 1813 km² the year after release, but core-areas, where feeding activity was concentrated, were much smaller. Some bears had exclusive core-areas in summer and autumn, but most showed considerable core-area overlap with animals of the same and/or the opposite sex. Bears selected deciduous forests, mixed and conifer forests were used according to availability, and areas with anthropogenic disturbance were avoided. Most bears settled and some reproduced successfully at the release site, causing high initial population growth, suggesting that reintroduction can help to re-establish a brown bear population in the Italian Alps.




Roth, H. U. 1994.
Alpen-Bären im Trentino.
Unpublished Work.

In this document, the author comments on the planned introduction of Slovenian bears to the Trentino, where an autochthonous population is still present. He argues on different levels against the introduction: genetic differences between populations, different behaviour, nature protection and political aspects. He nevertheless discusses alternatives for the introduction, i.e. taking measures for a natural resettlement of the Trentino-population.



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