Feeding station for birds of prey in the Gran Sasso-Laga Park

Action C.4: Management of a feeding station for birds of prey in the Gran Sasso-Laga Park
This action consists in establishing and managing a feeding station for birds of prey in the municipality of Rocca Santa Maria (Teramo), in the north-western part of the Gran Sasso-Laga  National Park.
The structure will cover around 1.5 hectares and will be supplied once a week from November to May, and twice a week from May to October.
Supplies will be primarily composed of carcasses of unproductive sheep and, less frequently, of animals killed by predators. The Park Authority will collect animals at the end of their lives, and will  reimburse the breeder against documents demonstrating the purchase of a young sheep to replace the one at the end of life.
The feeding station in Rocca S. Maria will be ready by April 2015. It will be endowed with video surveillance to check its actual use by birds of prey.

“Carnai”, poison and biodiversity
Conflict between breeders and land predators is one of the factors that may trigger the use of poison. Throughout the years, the Gran Sasso-Laga Park has established a discussion and negotiation policy with stakeholders of its territory, and especially with breeders, in order to limit the disadvantages connected with their activity, above all when such disadvantages are due to coexistence with wolves. This policy has achieved good results, and made the Park a sort of island of happiness, where poaching and poisoning of protected species are virtually unknown.
Management of feeding stations (“carnai”) is an important activity in this respect (as well as rapid compensations for damages, incentives to promote the use of guard dogs and fences, etc.). Supplying the feeding station with animals at the end of their lives relieves breeders of the costs for carcass disposal; it also has a further long-term positive impact on biodiversity, as compensation for unproductive animals is paid only if the livestock farm replaces them. This encourages the farm to carry on its activity.
Therefore a feeding station for birds of prey makes it possible to attain two important goals at the same time: it supports livestock farms, thus improving their coexistence with wolves and reducing the risk of discontent to degenerate into the use of poison (this is also important in terms of biodiversity); and it supports carrion-eating birds of prey, which mainly consist, within the Park, of griffon vultures and golden eagles.

  • Immagine 1
  • Griffon vulture at a feeding station
  • Immagine 2
  • Red kite having just visited a feeding station
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