Natural Park of the Maritime Alps,
Valdieri, Province of Cuneo, Piedmont, Italy
November 14, 2015
A guest of the Centre wildlife wolf Men and Wolves. Photo A. Rivelli.
Another wolf's body was found Sunday that most likely was killed and then hung on a metal structure along the main road of the Val Varaita, in Venasca and Brossasco. Investigations are underway to determine the genetic identity and to reconstruct the sequence of events. Two wolvess killed in a single weekend is a wake-up call that can only cause us to reflect on the extreme fragility of the local wolf population.
In 2015, in the province of Cuneo, twelve wolves were found dead; the count will only rise higher. Of the twelve, five were definitely victims of road accidents - two in Val Tanaro, one in Casotto Valley, one to Montezemolo, and then the young wolf of Valley Vermenagna. If the necropsy determines that the animal is a wolf from Brossasco, the total dead increases to thirteen, including six victims that were killed. The list of dead wolves increases with at least two wolves as victims of poaching and the five pups in Pamparato probably died of starvation after losing their parents. The main cause of mortality of this species, once extinct in the Alps, appears to be human.
The wolf took a century to recoop, generation after generation, in the alpine areas from which it was extinct in the early 1900. For over twenty years, a stable presence of wolves existed on the Cuneo mountains, but, like all large carnivores, they are a vulnerable species; accidents and acts of poaching will likely to lead to rapid and drastic losses.