Agnese Marino

Agnese Marino

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Agnese Marino

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Start Year

2014 (Cohort 1)

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PhD Project
PhD Title

Coexistence with large carnivores in Spain

Research Theme

Biodiversity and Ecology

Primary Supervisor
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Secondary Supervisor
Secondary Institution



Understanding human conflicts over large carnivore (LC) presence and management in Europe is of growing importance, as LC populations are expanding beyond their former distributions and causing damage to livestock and agriculture. Italy and Spain provide interesting case studies of LC conservation, as most farmers and livestock breeders have lost longstanding traditions that originally ensured protection of their holdings and, where LCs are returning, they are met with heated debate. In both countries, wolf populations are expanding but they remain threatened by illegal killing and hybridization with feral dogs, while bear populations are fragmented and highly vulnerable. This study will investigate the experience and opinions of stakeholders regarding LC presence and management, in two or three study areas: a) the Italian National Park of Abruzzi Lazio and Molise and regions around it, across areas of stable and occasional presence of bears and wolves; b) the Cantabrian Mountains of Spain, across areas that benefit from bear tourism and areas where bear presence has constrained land development, as well as areas where wolves are hunted and areas where they are completely protected; c) the Spanish Pyrenees, where bears have been artificially introduced. Research will focus on mapping areas of conflict with LCs and trying to relate them to LC presence, management and mortality caused by humans. Focus will be placed on estimating current levels of illegal killing, through social surveys and population modelling.

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