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“LIFE07NAT/IT/000502
“IMPROVING THE CONDITIONS FOR LARGE CARNIVORE CONSERVATION – A TRANSFER OF BEST PRACTICES” – EX-TRA”.


LIVESTOCK GUARDING DOG NETWORK
(The exchange network for guard dogs)

This association has started a collaboration with the Gran Sasso Monti della Laga Park Authority for which it will create and manage a network of exchange of livestock guarding dogs, between the sheep farmers operating within the nature reserve. For this purpose all the companies that use and breed shepherd dogs will be visited in order to verify their availability and attitudes of their packs of dogs. All the information collected will be registered on a computer to have a global vision, such that to allow the choice of mating and the exchange of puppies with different attitudes and bloodlines. As regards the exchange of puppies between the various companies, it is expected that the transfer to the requesting companies operating in the territory of the protected area should be free of charge, reciprocating however a reasonable reimbursement for the expenses to those who provide puppies fit for this purpose. Moreover, the data collection of these exchanges will help to assess the various groups of working dogs on the territory, allowing to incorporate, as appropriate, dogs with new blood lines and complementary characteristics, in order to improve with time the efficiency of each single pack of dogs, providing enhanced protection of the herds. The bloodlines already available in the groups of working dogs will be reinvigorated even through the placement of puppies coming from canine breeders, who breed Abruzzese shepherd dogs, in line with the requirements. Livestock farmers cooperating in this project will be given the opportunity to publish on our website that data relative to their businesses, indicating location and type of production. The end result of this project, which will come to an end in December 2012, should allow to obtain a better coexistence between livestock farms and predators located in the Gran Sasso – Monti della Laga Park, thanks to the increased efficiency of the packs of working dogs on the farms, which in turn will reduce the loss caused by predators but not only. It will also give greater visibility to the farmers who will cooperate in this project, with all the benefits
that it entails.

The President of the A.C.G.A.
Dr. Freddy Barbarossa

 

IMPROVING THE CONDITIONS FOR LARGE CARNIVORE CONSERVATION - A TRANSFER OF BEST PRACTICES

AN EXCHANGE NETWORK OF GUARDIAN DOGS IN THE NATURAL RESERVE OF THE GRAN SASSO - MONTI DELLA LAGA NATIONAL PARK


The reaction to the damage caused to zootechnics and more generally to agricultural activities, represents one of the main reasons of man’s pursuit towards the wolf and the bear. The problem is often worsened by the lack of preys in the area and it is certainly amplified by the need of the managing Authorities to take actions to protect wildlife regardless of the needs of the population.
In this context, the objective of the LIFE EX-TRA project is to improve the skills of those involved in wildlife management of the crucial aspects of conservation of large carnivores: biological aspects, interactions with other species, conflict management and involvement of interested groups.
As part of the Community Project LIFE07/NAT/IT/000502 “Improving the conditions for large carnivore conservation – a transfer of best practices” – EX-TRA, the development of a network of guardian and conduction dog breeders is expected as well as livestock breeders and owners of similar dogs, with the involvement of specific organizations to improve the quality of the breed in order to ensure technical support for the training and their best employment so to become a primary element of deterrence for large predators present on the territory, minimizing the damage caused by them.
The activity will be achieved through the specific expertise of the “Abbruzzese Shepherd dog” Association, in particular by the Ethological Study Group of Guardian Dogs, which will develop the following actions:

o monitor and manage the available resources, encouraging and coordinating the exchange of dogs between the companies, while allowing the grafting of new blood lines found through dog breeders who select subjects with the requested requirements;
o carry out, in the operating sheep and goat farms located in the Park, a prudent assessment of each subject present, with regard to work attitudes, without neglecting the morphology, which is also essential to ensure functionality;
o carry out the screening of the bloodlines used and the identification of their origin, even through DNA samples processed by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Chieti and Teramo, due to the availability of both and the main economical resources.
o the assessment of major or minor character attitudes of each single subject, in order to provide guidelines to the breeder about the management of the same and relative mating;
o collect the data obtained from an overall assessment of the available material and possible exchange.
o organize training courses on site for the management of dogs, focused on optimizing the yield of the same in their working environment;
o promote the exchange of puppies between sheep and goats breeders by implementing the experts’ suggestions in this field, encouraging such exchanges through a form of reimbursement of expenses;
o promote the participation in specialized trade fairs present in the Park area;
o make known the results of the project through publications, divulged in different ways.

Die interne Koordinatorin des Projektes
Fr. Dr. Pina Leone

 

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