Monitoring inspection of the project LIFE PLUTO in Parco Nazionale d'Abruzzo, Lazio e Molise by the European Commission

On the 11th and the 12th June, the Carabinieri Department for Biodiversity of Castel di Sangro and of the natural reserve Feudo Intramonti, in Parco Nazionale d'Abruzzo, Lazio e Molise, will host a monitoring inspection by the European Commission to check the development of the project LIFE PLUTO.

The place has not been chosen by chance: actually, the Park hosts one of the six Anti-poison dog units of the forestry corps of Carabinieri, that the project LIFE PLUTO has created in central and southern Italy and that aims at preventing and reducing the illegal use of poison towards fauna. The other five units are in Parco Nazionale delle Foreste Casentinesi, in Parco Nazionale dei Monti Sibili, in Molise (province of Isernia), in Parco Nazionale del Cilento and in Parco Nazionale del Pollino.
The project LIFE PLUTO has been launched in 2014 by Parco Nazionale del Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga and by Carabinieri, with the economic support of the European Union, to fight against the poisoning of fauna, a widespread and illegal practice that endangers many wild animals, dogs and cats and that represents a danger for public health and for the environment.
One of the main actions of LIFE PLUTO is the engagement of Anti-poison Dog units for preventive and urgent inspections so as to identify and remove some poisoned baits or dead by poison animals that might represent a lethal bait for other animals. The Units are also crucial for material collection that could be useful for investigations.
The monitoring inspection by the EC will be held by the technical desk officer (Dott.ssa Elisabetta Scialanca), the financial desk officer (Dott.ssa Miriam Lopez de la Mano) and by the supervisor (Dott. Riccardo Scalera) who could verify the development of the actions taken in place, in collaboration with the team of the two beneficiaries.
In particular, beyond the Units results, the beneficiaries will explain the actions developed during the project, i.e. courses for the Carabinieri to better manage the poisoning cases and, inside the Parco Nazionale Gran Sasso-Laga, the management of a feeding station for birds of prey and a programme of environmental education that has been held in schools so as to sensitise towards the preservation of some endangered animals like bears, wolves and birds of prey.   
On the 11th June, a technical-administrative inspection will take place, while the next day the representatives of the European Commission will better understand how the Anti-poison Dog Units work by seeing how trained dogs research poisoned baits and remains, and by understanding the training techniques for dogs, the planning and execution method for the inspections and, finally, the method for material discoveries and investigation launches.  

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