Italy is the 10th largest country in Europe. Oddly, it has proved to successfully hold on to many of the species lost elsewhere. Some of these have returned, and there is ongoing debate about bringing back those still missing.

Wolves were thought to number around 3307 last year, and with growth of 6-7% that would be around 3500 this year (if still growing at that pace. They hit their low point in the 1970s with 70-100 individuals. while considered a separate subspecies, it is likely that any differences in appearance is due to the bottleneck that populations have gone through, and probably not significant differences in the actual animals. More to the point, it is far better for the European wolf population to make sure the genetic width of the population is there. It should be noted that the French wolf population was founded out of the Italian population, through migration back in 1992. The Italian wolves can be seen through much of the peninsula on the west of the country, using the Apennines mountain range as a highway.


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There are currently 2 populations of bears in Italy. The Marsican bear lives in the Apennines of Italy, alongside the Italian wolf, however this population only number 60-80. The other population is to replace a recently extinct population only lost 34 years ago, when the italian Alps population fell to 3 members, without a single breeding female. A decision was made to start translocating bears from Slovenia. That has been incredibly successful – with the population now thought to be around 100.

There are thought to be just 200 lynx in Italy. While there is a population in the northern province of belluno in Italy, there are also many along the border between Switzerland and Slovenia, where across the border there are established populations. I look at how close these are, and wonder whether the Belluno population may have a similar origin.

Bison were locally extinct in Italy are but have been reintroduced into Viva Natura park near Verona, though this is only to ready the herd for the true reintroduction into the wilds of Romania.. 

Links to areas to visit will appear below. We are open to listing any tourism businesses that work in the natural world in Italy.  Click “list your wild place” at the top of the page or here   it is a quick process.

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