LIFE EUROLARGECARNIVORES – Improving human coexistence with large carnivores in Europe through communication and transboundary cooperation LIFE16 GIE/DE/000661

LIFE EUROLARGECARNIVORES – Improving human coexistence with large carnivores in Europe through communication and transboundary cooperation LIFE16 GIE/DE/000661

Duration of the project:

1.9. 2017. – 28.2.2022.

Total value:

€ 6.058.902,00

EU co-financing:

€ 3.613.823,00

Beneficiary coordinator:

World Wide Fund For Nature; Germany


World Wide Fund for Nature Adria; Croatia, Stiftelse WWF Verdens Naturfond; Norway, ASOCIACION PARA LA DEFENSA DE LA NATURALEZA; Spain, World Wide Fund for Nature; Finland, WWF Mediterranean Foundation; Italy, FONDS MONDIAL POUR LA NATURE; France, Umweltorganisation WWF International Danube-Carpathian Program; Austria, WWF Carna Dunare Program; Romania, Forstliche Versuchs- und Forschungsanstalt Baden-Württemberg; Germany, WWF Világ Természeti Alap Magyarország Alapítvány; Hungary, Elmauer Institute Managing Consensus 2; Germany, World Wide Fund for Nature Switzerland, Società Cooperativa Sociale Eliante Onlus; Italy, World Wide Fund for Nature Poland – Fundacja WWF Poland, World Wide Fund for Nature Austria


Out of a total of 33 populations of European large carnivores, only four remain within the borders of one state, indicating that 88% of populations are transboundary in terms of their distribution. Some even spread across eight countries. Large carnivore distribution countries differ significantly in legislation, socio-economic conditions, management, acceptance level, conservation status of large carnivores and many other parameters, which makes the introduction of population management and conservation measures a great challenge. The main cause of this problem is the lack of coordinated action and insufficient communication among many actors in the conservation of large carnivores in different countries (eg, experts, competent institutions and important stakeholders).

The project seeks to establish instruments to support overcoming the following main obstacles in cross-border cooperation:

  • Lack of awareness of all key stakeholders as well as local and state bodies important for communication, coordinated management and monitoring of large carnivores
  • Insufficient capacity for communication between the above actors
  • Lack of knowledge on how to reduce conflicts between humans and wildlife and how to maximize the benefits of the presence of large carnivores, such as their ecological role and socio-economic importance
  • Lack of regional, national and European exchange of best practices between relevant communities, stakeholders and authorities (eg livestock protection measures, tourism concepts)

Specific objectives of the project:

  • Raise awareness among local and state authorities and introduce communication tools adapted to the geographical and cultural environment
  • Inform and actively involve key actors in forming agreements on their needs and responsibilities
  • Develop cross-border, interdisciplinary communication channels for the involvement of previously passive actors in order to contribute to the management of large carnivores in perspective and by applying new knowledge
  • Contribute to an understanding of large stakeholder-oriented conservation strategies for key carnivores across the EU
  • Contribute to the implementation of the EU official document “Key actions for large carnivore populations in Europe”
  • Add value to existing large carnivore projects (LIFE and other programs) by promoting their results and sharing best practices
  • Give local stakeholders such as farmers the opportunity to be directly involved and, through a trusted person, pass on informative experiences tailored to farmers
  • Support the development of EU policy through the concrete drafting of documents that contribute to the above-mentioned EU official document

Expected project results:

  • Comprehensive EU database:
  • Data collection/database development according to existing methods and projects covering the entire territory of the EU
  • Collection and promotion of best practices for the conservation of large carnivores
  • EU stakeholder map distributed according to large carnivore populations with a focus on 5 key areas covered by the project


  • Establishment and support of networks and platforms across the EU:
  • A network of different stakeholders of local and state authorities including all bodies responsible for the conservation of large carnivore populations
  • An EU platform for the exchange of knowledge and experience on large carnivores available to experts, stakeholders and the general public


  • Communication and action plans:
  • EU communication plan that includes information on the roles of all regions and tools, links to materials and references while respecting cultural differences
  • Plans for the involvement of national and cross-border stakeholders


  • Communication and dissemination of information:
  • Guidelines for effective livestock protection
  • Large carnivore media packages available in all project languages;
  • At least 40 regional and transnational workshops and one international conference, with more than 3,000 participants
  • Magical Moments Campaign – showing positive relationships between humans and large carnivores including individuals’ confessions about their coexistence with large carnivores
  • Promotion and information campaigns on each WWF website, as well as on at least 10 national and regional websites


  • Contribution to the research:
  • Two surveys on stakeholder attitudes
  • Comprehensive research of the literature on existing knowledge and lack of knowledge about large carnivores