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December 2017


by LIPU President, Fulvio Mamone Capria:

There is Hope for Nature

Dear fellow members, look into the eyes of the two young wolves caught by a trail camera in the Castel di Guido in Rome. Doing so may bring a number of matters to mind.

Eighteen years have passed since, with the agreement of the city of Rome, we created the protected area of Castel di Guido. It is a rich habitat for migrating birds, such as the Black Kite, swallows and both the Red-backed and Woodchat Shrike. It has been a tough job, at times frustrated by bureaucracy. Our partners have had ups and downs as they struggled to protect this precious home of biodiversity. Today, their efforts have been rewarded by the return of the most fascinating of Italian carnivores. Once again on the outskirts of Rome, a land of wild grassland and organic crops, where wild boar live, the wolf – that symbol of strength and loyalty – is back, having disappeared a century ago, the victim of poaching and persecution. This is an exciting victory for LIPU, and a real achievement for us.

We must defend the beautiful wolf against prejudice and the unhealthy desire to shoot. The news is full of wolves being killed on the roads and by poachers. On the other hand, the knowledge that cubs are growing up in our reserve, cared for and protected, fills us with confidence that there is a future for wildlife.

There is a great need to counter and change traditional negative attitudes, and not only with regard to the wolf. We need to take action in other areas, such as the recent release of around 300 larks, which were destined to act as living decoys. We need to engage with the plight of the ptarmigan. Climate change is relentless and affects this, and other, species. The ptarmigan is still hunted in some Italian regions, and LIPU is working hard to extend measures that will protect it.

We now have to be more aware of climate change, droughts, fires and floods. We need to manage correctly areas at risk of flooding, take care of river beds, and prevent woodland fires. The State and the regions must concentrate their efforts, but must not use methods that – as was the case with the floods in Livorno – appear to deliver results, but in fact are damaging to the environment and dangerous for the population.

This edition of Ali is filled with anticipation as Christmas approaches. The wonderful photographs, including those of Michele Mendi, capture the great heart of LIPU. Don’t forget to go out and find the nearest place to buy our organic produce, which benefits wildlife. Don’t forget to renew your membership! Your loyalty means everything to us – for LIPU, every member counts.

The year 2017 closes on a note of extraordinary success for us. We have more members, more projects, and more action on behalf of birds. And 2018? It will contain more beauty and richness thanks to the work of LIPU and to your great love of the Hoopoe.


  • A Christmas Tale
  • LIPU – a year reviewed
  • Ptarmigan under threat
  • Roman wolves

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