Monday, September 4, 2023
HomeScienceKilling of rare Marsican brown bear Amarena raises fears for future of...

Killing of rare Marsican brown bear Amarena raises fears for future of its subspecies

New Scientist Default Image

Amarena together with her cubs

Gianluca Damiani

The killing of a widely known wild bear named Amarena has shocked Italy and raised contemporary doubts about whether or not people and enormous carnivores can coexist peacefully.

At 11pm on 31 August, Amarena was wandering by way of the streets of San Benedetto Dei Marsi within the Abruzzo area of Italy together with her two cubs, when she was shot lifeless by a person who stated he was defending his rooster coop.

She was certainly one of round 60 remaining Marsican brown bears (Ursus arctos marsicanus), a subspecies of the Eurasian brown bear categorized as critically endangered by the Worldwide Union for Conservation of Nature. It’s primarily discovered within the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise Nationwide Park, certainly one of Europe’s wildest areas, round an hour’s drive away from Rome. Poaching and collisions with vehicles and trains are the main causes of demise for the subspecies.

Usually, solely three to 4 females reproduce annually, having a complete of three to 10 new child cubs. Amarena was essentially the most prolific particular person ever recognized. In 2020, she gave beginning to 4 cubs, an unusually excessive quantity.

New Scientist Default Image

Amarena and her cubs have been usually seen in villages

Gianluca Damiani

Marsican bears are sometimes noticed wandering across the small mountain villages in Abruzzo, and they’re an attraction for vacationers. However for the protection of bears and folks, the nationwide park and different establishments have tried unsuccessfully to stop them from approaching villages.

“The presence of untamed animals in villages will increase the danger of damaging interactions with individuals and the probability of accidents,” says Mario Cipollone, the co-founder of Salviamo L’Orso, a non-profit organisation working to avoid wasting the Marsican bear from extinction. “If there are individuals who lure bears into cities for financial or egocentric causes, efforts by associations and establishments to maintain these animals out of cities fail.”

Paula Mayer at ETH Zurich in Switzerland has studied the coexistence of bears and people in Abruzzo, utilizing a mathematical mannequin to map the areas during which battle is extra doubtless. She discovered there’s large variation in individuals’s angle in the direction of bears, with extra optimistic views in communities that revenue from tourism and extra hostility in these depending on subsistence farming. Her analysis additionally exhibits that state funding, similar to monetary compensation for injury brought on by bears, is essential for fostering optimistic attitudes in the direction of wildlife.

“Within the space the place Amarena was killed, the map exhibits a excessive likelihood of coexistence, which means each threats to bears are low and human tolerance is excessive,” says Meyer. “Nonetheless, a mannequin stays a mannequin and might by no means predict with certainty what’s going to occur in actuality.”

The killing of Amarena has taken individuals without warning in a area that has been touted for example of coexistence between people and enormous carnivores.

“I imagine that some areas of Abruzzo are actually fashions of coexistence. Nonetheless, and not using a change in values, within the sense that the final inhabitants accepts wildlife in a shared panorama even when it brings them no instrumental profit, we’ll by no means attain a deeply rooted and sustainable state of coexistence within the social-ecological system,” says Mayer.

“There’s a want for the state to recognise the safety of nature and endangered species as a nationwide precedence, to put money into a tradition of data and respect for biodiversity, within the prevention of conflicts with giant carnivores,” says Cipollone.


- Advertisment -

Most Popular

error: Content is protected !!