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Cost of Coexisting with a Relict Large Carnivore Population: Impact of Apennine Brown Bears, 2005–2015

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Galluzzi, Andrea 
Donfrancesco, Valerio 
Mastrantonio, Gianluca  ORCID logo
Sulli, Cinzia 


Human-carnivore conflicts are a major conservation issue. As bears are expanding their range in Europe’s human-modified landscapes, it is increasingly important to understand, prevent, and address human-bear conflicts and evaluate mitigation strategies in areas of historical coexistence. Based on verified claims, we assessed costs, patterns, and drivers of bear damages in the relict Apennine brown bear population in the Abruzzo Lazio and Molise National Park (PNALM), central Italy. During 2005–2015, 203 ± 71 (SD) damage events were verified annually, equivalent to 75,987 ± 30,038 €/year paid for compensation. Most damages occurred in summer and fall, with livestock depredation, especially sheep and cattle calves, prevailing over other types of damages, with apiaries ranking second in costs of compensation. Transhumant livestock owners were less impacted than residential ones, and farms that adopted prevention measures loaned from the PNALM were less susceptible to bear damages. Livestock farms chronically damaged by bears represented 8 ± 3% of those annually impacted, corresponding to 24 ± 6% of compensation costs. Further improvements in the conflict mitigation policy adopted by the PNALM include integrated prevention, conditional compensation, and participatory processes. We discuss the implications of our study for Human-bear coexistence in broader contexts.



human-carnivore coexistence, compensation costs, Human-bear conflict, human-dominated landscape, Italy, large carnivores, Ursus arctos

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