Habitat loss and deterioration is one of the main causes of many animal and plant species’ decline. The most sensitive wild species, including many galliformes, are particularly affected. In the Alpine regions, habitat loss is mainly due to the poor or lack of care of pastures and open areas and the resulting reforestation.
For many years South Tyrolean hunters have been implementing measures to preserve and improve natural habitats in their hunting grounds. With their commitment, South Tyrolean hunters make a valuable contribution to the long-term preservation of these species.
EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 – The new EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, which includes a new restoration initative, calls for more community-based actions led by citizens, businesses, or social partners to protect and restore Europe’s nature. This project demonstrates yet again that hunters are active on the ground and will be an essential player in implanting the strategy throughout Europe in the next 10 years
Some environmental improvement measures are carried out in cooperation with the relevant authorities. Since 2016, the Landscape Fund of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano has supported more than 25 project areas. The hunting community has contributed around 10,625 hours of voluntary work, of which 2,500 hours in 2019 alone, distributed across 40 projects.
In addition to the initiatives supported by the Landscape Fund, many hunting reserves initiated environmental improvement projects on their own initiative and implement them independently and without subsidies. The hours spent on these measures are not systematically recorded, but they are of inestimable value for the conservation of habitats and wildlife and significantly increase the number of hours of voluntary work performed by South Tyrolean hunters.
Source: Alessandra Albertoni, Südtiroler Jagdverband (Italy)