Wolf Fund: Compensation measures for Iberian wolf habitat conservation - Portugal

Our application is based on the work that we have developed in 6 Portuguese Natura 2000 sites and surrounding areas, specifically for the conservation of the Iberian Wolf (Canis lupus signatus) habitat. The activities stem from the compensation measures that were identified during an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) undertaken as part of the licensing procedure for renewable energy projects (ie wind farms) which were being proposed to be built within the wolf´s range. In order to implement these measures, a fund – the Wolf Fund – financed by wind farms that have an obligation to implement compensation measures, was established, together with an association – ACHLI – who would be responsible for managing the fund. ACHLI’s key objectives are to design, implement, monitor and follow-up on the compensation measures. Therefore, based on wolf monitoring plans and Natura 2000 management plans we designed several actions in order to contribute effectively to wolf conservation. Our application for the conservation category of the award covers 3 compensation measures that focus on habitat conservation: 1) Forest Management: the forest management project is comprised of a total of 700 ha distributed throughout the territory of 8 wolf packs.; 2) Roe deer reintroduction: a reintroduction plan was developed in the territory of 3 wolf packs. Since 2014, a total of 90 roe deer were released.; and 3) No hunting zones: 2 zones were established totalling 2323 ha (1879 and 444 ha) in the territory of 3 wolf packs. Our main achievements are increased habitat management for the Iberian wolf through improved forest lands, establishment of a wolf prey population that was previously nonexistent and the creation of refuges within hunting reserves to reduce disturbance in sensitive areas.

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