All parts of the world, including Italy, have their share of endangered species. And Italy’s list is, in fact, growing. From snails and insects to the beautiful, noble, and critically endangered Sicilian Fir Tree. As well as the Aeolian Wall Lizard, found only on a few Italian islands. And one which hits a little closer to home for us: Italy’s Marsican Brown Bear here in Abruzzo.
Why so rare?
It’s one of the rarest creatures on Earth, and unique among bear species.
- According to the latest reliable research, only about 50 remain alive;
- It lives exclusively in Italy’s central Apennines. And only in The National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio, and Molise.
Although authorities have spent millions of Euro trying to save this species, it’s still at risk. And human-caused deaths remain the biggest threat. The biggest killers are car accidents and poachers (unauthorized hunters).
Factors of endangered species
There are many factors that contribute to a species becoming endangered:
- Habitat destruction (destruction of its home)
- Introduction of exotic species (importing plants or animals from other places)
- Illegal hunting
- Legal exploitation (legal hunting, fishing, harvesting, etc.)
- And natural causes
There are no simple answers for this complex problem. But the fact remains that the loss of any species is tragic. A living being, created with beauty and purpose, forever gone. Irreplaceable and irretrievable.
Threat to biodiversity
Each endangered species threatens biodiversity and its multiple benefits:
- Cleaner air
- Poverty alleviation (food, bioenergy, building materials, etc.)
- Health (50% of medicines come from natural sources)
- Purification of fresh waters
- Flood prevention
- Pollination of crops
- Carbon sequestration (removes carbon from the air)
- Protection against natural disasters
- Preservation of soil fertility
Loss of creation’s awesome diversity
Loss of a species also results in a diminishing of creation’s great diversity. Imagine a world with no bees! No cats! No butterflies or flowers! With each species lost, we lose much of what makes this world so beautiful, special, and awe-inspiring.
Our beautiful Abruzzo just wouldn’t be the same without its National Parks. And the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio, and Molise wouldn’t be the same without its symbol: the Orso Marsicano! And that’s why conservationists are working to save it.
And you can help!
The Abruzzo brown bear, one of the rarest creatures on Earth and unique among bear species, is endangered. Come and help save it!Tweet
There is something you could do to help! Come participate in an International Volunteer’s Project in one of Abruzzo’s beautiful national park. It would make a unique, fun, and informative work-holiday in one of Italy’s most breath-taking areas. And, other than your transportation to the park, it is quite inexpensive: only €80 for seven days, or €100 for nine days.
And in the meantime, check out the beauty of the park with the following brief video. Then, as the video says: “Come discover the National Park for yourself. Where nature awaits you!”
Images: Bear photos are by Alexax_Fotos. | All others are my own.