Drop by Drop, Italy
Project Impact Aims
Conservation action, biodiversity and climate impact:
- 10,000 native trees planted
- 1000km of rubbish removed
- 2 tonnes of carbon sequestered
- Carbon emissions reduced by 30%
Community and outdoor enthusiast involvement:
- 20 local people employed by project
- 100 local volunteers involved
- Biking and hiking trails now accessible
- 1000 more outdoor enthusiasts visiting area
Education & training:
- 5 environmental workshops
- 1000 people attended volunteer conservation days
Salviamo l’Orso (Save The Bear) is an association of volunteers that aims to carry out practical actions to save the Marsican brown bear (Ursus arctos marsicanus) from extinction and is becoming a reference point for the public who cares about bear conservation issues.
The Central Apennines are considered the wild heart of Italy, thanks to their incredible ecosystems and rich biodiversity. One of the threats to this biodiversity is the reduction in water availability caused by worsening summer drought and reduced snow fall. This may have dramatic consequences on animals, both amphibians that rely on water basins for part or their entire life cycle, and for larger animals that need pools to hydrate, lower their body temperature and lactate.
For the Marsican brown bear, Salviamo l’Orso’s target species, the
absence of water sources could force it to restrict its movements to the few areas where the presence of water is guaranteed, limiting its colonisation of new areas, a vital step for the survival of this species. This project will involve volunteers, shepherds and wildlife experts with the aim to improve 20 water basins over 35,455 ha by enhancing the water holding capacity of natural water ponds, fixing existing troughs and protecting the natural ponds that the overflow creates.
This project is now complete with 1.8km of mountain bike trail constructed to link the Angofa Wildlife Centre with the existing 100km trail through this beautiful countryside.
Numerous challenges were successfully overcome by the team during the trail’s construction, including the need for many more culverts and ditches than planned, difficulties in transporting stone up hill, and the requirement of an excavator in areas of very hard ground.