The Carnivora Dinarica project deals with cross-border cooperation and ecosystem services for the long-term conservation of large carnivore populations in several Natura 2000 areas in Central Europe. This unique landscape of continuous transboundary forests is inhabited by approximately 20 lynx, 50 wolves and 600 bears, and their protection is vital for the preservation of biodiversity and of the ecosystems of this region. The project focuses on 3 main common challenges:
- Improving transboundary management of large carnivores through harmonisation of measures for wolves and lynx, a better understanding of threats to habitat connectivity, a joint analysis of ecosystem services and establishment of inter-institutional cooperation.
- Reducing the risks that threaten large carnivores, especially the increasing pressure of humans (traffic mortality, agricultural damages, habitat fragmentation) through good practices and prevention measures.
- Strengthening competences and awareness of the role that large carnivores play in the ecosystem.
Natura 2000 areas in Javorniki-Snežnik and Notranjski trikotnik in Slovenia, and Gorski Kotar and northern Lika in Croatia.
The project officially started on the 1st September 2018 and ran for 30 months, until February 2021. It was co-funded by the EU through the Cooperation Programme Interreg VA Slovenia – Croatia (EUR 1 983 897 from ERDF). It involved 3 Slovenian and 5 Croatian partners including universities, public institutions, municipalities, associations (WWF Adria) and the Slovenian Forest Service. Carnivora Dearica’s lead partner was the University of Ljubljana’s Biotechnical Faculty (SL).
The project has received considerable public attention, with the public and expert communities keen to follow its progress. Households across the project area have received bulletins to give them a sense of involvement in this important work.
Among the main outputs of the project worth mentioning are:
- A Visitor Centre arranged by the Municipality of Pivka (SL) in Krpan's Home, to raise awareness of the coexistence of people and large carnivores, provide guidance to visitors, and host an interactive exhibition.
- Events and workshops involving schools and teachers.
- Regular publications (https://www.carnivoradinarica.eu/en/project/project-publications/).
- An updated website full of information related to large carnivores, how to behave when encountering them and coexistence.
Additional information available at https://www.carnivoradinarica.eu/en/