Italy's wolves bounce back

February 9, 2007

Italy's wolves, once at risk of extinction, have bounced back, but still are at risk, an expert speaking in Rome said.

"There are now between 500 and 1,000 wolves living in Italy and the outlook is far more rosy than it was 30 years ago when no more than 100 remained in scattered areas," said Luigi Boitani, who heads La Sapienza University's Animal and Human Biology Department, ANSA reported.

Boitani said the biggest threat to the wolves are farmers and hunters. About 100 wolves are killed every year, he said, ANSA reported.

"When we discuss these figures in other parts of Europe or in North America, they ask us how it is that any wolves remain in Italy. The credit goes to the Italians, for having found a balance.

"However, the problems start when wolves return to an area after decades, and the ability to coexist has been forgotten."

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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