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.
But why is this Abruzzo bear so rare, and why should we save it? It’s one of the rarest creatures on Earth, and unique among bear species.
- According to the latest reliable research, only about 50 of the species 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).
Many factors 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.
Each endangered species also threatens biodiversity, which provides us with many 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;
- And preservation of soil fertility.
And that’s without even mentioning the loss of creation’s awesome diversity.
Imagine a world with no elephants! No kangaroos! No tulips or Monarch butterflies! With each species lost, we would lose so much of what make this world beautiful, special, and awe-inspiring.
Our beautiful Abruzzo just wouldn’t be the same without the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio, and Molise. And the National Park wouldn’t be the same without its symbol: the Orso Marsicano!
But there is something you could do to help!
Come participate in an International Volunteer’s Project in 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.
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!”
[Video via: Parco Abruzzo / YouTube.]
[Images of the Abruzzo mountains are our own.]