The Riserva Monte Genzana in Abruzzo is first “Bear Smart Living Community” in Italy

The Italian region of Abruzzo is home to sandy coves, sprawling nature reserves, national parks and hilltop towns from the middle-ages and renaissance period, including its regional fortified capital, L’Aquila. The region has also been blessed with exceptional fauna and hosts rare animal species like the golden eagle, Apennine wolf, chamois and brown marsican bear.

From the numerous nature reserves and parks, the Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo is one of the most impressive. Founded in 1922, the park is home to a great variety of animals that once occupied a much wider range in the Apennines. The park’s authorities have recorded 67 species of mammals , 230 of  birds , 14 of reptiles , 12 of amphibians , 15 of fish , and 4,764 species of insects.

Of all these animals, one of the most impressive is certainly the Marsican brown bear. Local communities, businesses and individuals have been working out a strategy to prevent conflicts between bears and residents. They removed any potential food sources which could attract the bears to urban areas and relocated them to three protected areas: the Abruzzo National Park, the Majella National Park and the Sirente Velino Park.

The Bear Smart Community Genzana, in the splendid village of Pettorano sul Gizio in Abruzzo is working to promote cooperations between these wild animals and local communities. With the participation of 12 European countries, residents are learning to peacefully coexist with the wildlife of the central Apennines, of which the Marsican brown bear is the most iconic species.

For example, it removes any abandoned sources of food from urban areas which would likely attract the animals. The “Welcome back gentle bear” project has enabled the creation of the “Sentiero dell’Orso” created by Maiella Park and WWF Italy which aims to promote a man-bear coexistence for the protection of this key species of European fauna.

Learning about the coexistence between bears and humans start at ITB Berlin, HALL 1.2 / 107

For more news about ENIT and Abruzzo’s slow tourism offering at ITB, click here or visit the stand of ENIT – Italian National Tourism Board at Hall 1.2 | 107 

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