Thanks to the Ibex Stambecco Lombardia project everyone can contribute to the conservation of this vulnerable species
The summer period is ideal for mountain tours, to immerse yourself in nature and observe its beauty. Especially since this year, during the excursions in the Lombardy mountains, it is possible to contribute to the collection of important data for the knowledge of the distribution and behaviour of the ibex. The citizen science project "Let's get to know the ibex together"—an initiative that wants to actively involve citizens in gathering information and scientific data—started in 2017 thanks to the Bergamo CAI section and is now extended to the entire Lombardy region.
To take part in the project is easy. First of all, it is necessary to pay attention to the presence of the ibex near shelters and paths. The information to be collected relates to the number of specimens, their gender, the location and the date of the sighting. To transmit this data to the experts it is necessary to fill out a postcard that is distributed in the shelters and in the Sport Specialist shops of Lombardy.
Alternatively or in addition to the postcard, it is also possible to take photos of the ibex and share up to 5 shots indicating the day, time and place of the sighting. In this way, in addition to contributing to the georeferencing of ungulates, you can participate in a photo contest.
All data collected can be delivered in paper format to the same shelters and the shops aforementioned or sent via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), via the website, on Facebook, on Instagram or using the Biodiversity app.
The ibex, almost completely disappeared from the Alps in the early 1800s, was saved from the risk of extinction by King Vittorio Emanuele II, who in 1856 established a royal reserve to protect the specimens still alive in Val d'Aosta. From that reserve was then born the Gran Paradiso National Park in 1922. Over the following decades, thanks to a series of reintroduction operations to which also Istituto Oikos contributed, this precious species returned to most of the Central Alps. Since the 1980s, the Lombardy Region has promoted a plan to reintroduce this ungulate, also with the support of the Stambecco Lombardia project. Today, in the Region, there are 14-16 colonies for a total of over 3,500 ibexes.