Events and News

Check the News & Events section to keep updated on the LIFE SAFE-CROSSING project

24. Workshop between administrations in Seville

At the end of 2019, a working group was set up to face the problem of the Iberian lynx road mortality in the Dehesa de Abajo asphalted road (SE-MA-01).
The organisations and institutions involved in this working group are the following: the Guadalquivir Hydrographic Confederation, the Town Council of La Puebla del Rio, the Andalusian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, the Territorial Delegation of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of Seville, WWF-Spain and the Environment and Water Agency. The first meeting occurred in February 2020, and the whole process ended on Thursday 23 September 2021.
The mitigation measures foreseen in the LIFE SAFE-CROSSING project, like the installation of AVC PS, virtual fence, and the road panels, developed through neuromarketing technique, have been considered an important tool to reduce the impact of vehicular traffic on the Iberian lynx conservation.

This workshop is part of action E7 of the LIFE SAFE CROSSING project.

For more details you can read the press release by clicking here.

23. In Romania: Tragic accident with a bear cub lured by food for stray dogs
On the 19 of September a bear cub, whose sex could not be identified, of about 8 months old was hit by a car on the national road 1 (DN1) in Romania. As it can be seen in the pictures, the bear has been attracted by dog food left in the parking area. In this area we are implementing mitigation measures to avoid animal vehicle collisions but they are ineffective if animals come near the road to look for food.
Feeding dog and cat can be very dangerous for domestic and wild animals and it causes a lot of problems because it mantains the stray dog population. Stray dogs can be' dangerous for humans livestock and wildlife. The implemented actions of the LIFE SAFE-CROSSING project to mitigate animal-vehicle collisions are only efficient if people respect the recommendations and collaborate with us. An act intended to be good usually ends up with a tragedy. Therefore, PLEASE STOP FEEDING STRAY ANIMALS!

22. Informative panels have been installed in Romania
8 informative panels have been installed in 4 different road segments near Brasov (Romania). These are important national roads, usually very crowded which pose a real danger in terms of collisions between animals and vehicles. We hope that the drivers will be more aware of this risk and they will respect the speed limits required by the authorities for the specific road conditions.

21. First virtual fence installed in the Abruzzo Lazio and Molise National Park
A "virtual fence" has been installed on two road segments (SS 83 and SP 17) in Abruzzo Lazio Molise National Park in Italy.
The virtual fence is made of a series of electronic devices that are placed on poles on the roadsides. They are activated by the headlights of upcoming vehicles. When they are triggered, they emit flashing lights and sounds to prevent the animal’s road crossing.
The selection of the locations for the installation of the devices have been made after an accurate monitoring and analysis phase, and in a complementary manner with the other concrete interventions already implemented on the roads.
The devices have been installed with the cooperation of the Austrian company iPTE, which has developed them, and the installation has been accompanied also by the colleagues of the Majella National Park, which soon will install the same devices as well.

Another important step to prevent animals getting killed on roads!

20. First interventions for the improvement of structures (passages) of the section “Siatista – Koromilia” of the Egnatia Motorway, Greece
EGNATIA ODOS S.A. has started implementing the interventions on the motorway section “Siatista – Koromilia”, after the completion of evaluation of the structures, as for their use by wild fauna for crossing the motorway.

The interventions are mainly:

  • Planting around the entrances of structures, to create an attractive environment for animals
  • Pruning and debris removal, to facilitate animal crossings
  • Construction of “dry corridors” or ramps inside the structures
  • Light-screens for light protection of structure entrances
  • Existing fencing corrections, to prevent animals from entering the motorway, or facilitate their escape from it

The first interventions concern existing fencing corrections. 

19. First Animal Vehicle Collision Prevention Systems installed in Italy
The first 3 Animal Vehicle Collision Prevention Systems (AVC PS) have been installed in the frame of the LIFE SAFE-CROSSING Project in the Majella National Park in Italy. These are the first three of the 27 devices that are foreseen to be installed during the project in the coming months, in all four project countries (Italy, Romania, Greece, Spain).

The AVC PS alerts drivers in case of presence of animals on the roadsides and chase the animals away if the car proceeds at too high speed. Like this, the system does not represent a barrier for animal movements but prevents collisions in high-risk situations.
The installation is the result of an intense preliminary study phase and has been possible also due to the close collaboration with the road authority ANAS, which has provided the permits to install the devices and has supported the two involved National Parks (Majella National Park and Abruzzo Lazio e Molise National Parks) during the development of the action.
Presently the AVC PS are in test phase, but they will be fully operational soon.
In the meantime we invite you to DRIVE CAREFULLY EVERYWHERE!

18. Video game “Avoid it!!” ready for download on App stores!
We have published the video game “Avoid it!!” on the App stores (for Android and iOS). It has been produced in order to reach young people, the future drivers. We want to draw their attention onto the problem of the impact of roads on wildlife, and how important it is to drive carefully. In the game it is foreseen to avoid the animals crossing the roads of the 4 countries of the project.

The video game will be circulated through social media and at local events. Please help us sharing it!

17. Watch videos of bears using underpasses under Egnatia Highway in Greece
Watch these two interesting videos registered in the frame of the monitoring program regarding the use of the crossing structures ongoing in Greece. These videos filmed in the same crossing structure along the Egnatia Highway showed the different behaviours of the bears under different visibility conditions.
Video 1: you can see a bear hesitating and not using the underpass probably because it does not see any light at its end.
Video 2: you can see a bear mother encouraging its cubs to use the underpass, most likely because it can see the light at its end. This is surely a behaviour to be encouraged.

These images are very important because they help us to understand the possible key factors influencing the behaviour of the animals, and then implement in the best possible way the concrete conservation actions foreseen in the project.
All the results already obtained will be present in the LIFE SAFE-CROSSING workshop that will be held on 12 January in the frame of the IENE2020 conference!

16. Majella National Park and the National Road Agency join forces to raise awareness on the importance of driving carefully!
The LIFE SAFE-CROSSING project is entering its core phase in Majella National Park! After an initial study phase the park together with the Road Management Agency ANAS have started the installation of information panels to raise the awareness of drivers on the importance to decrease speed and drive carefully. The panels which have been developed by a team of experts of the project and with the neuromarketing technique, will be installed in the Provinces of L’Aquila, Chieti and Pescara on the National Roads SS5, SS17, SS84 and SS487. Totally 42 panels will be installed on the roads, as a result of the close collaboration of PNM with ANAS, which has formally supported the LIFE SAFE-CROSSING project and has authorized the installation of the devices on the roads under its authority.

15. The LIFE SAFE-CROSSING workshop during the IENE 2020 conference postponed to 12 January 2021 and will be held online!
The IENE 2020 International Conference “LIFE LINES - Linear Infrastructure Networks with Ecological Solutions” will be held fully online. The Conference will take place between 12 and 14 January 2021.

In accordance the LIFE SAFE-CROSSING Workshop “Innovative techniques to mitigate transportation infrastructure impact on large carnivores” will also be held online. The new rescheduled date will be January 12th, 2021 from 14:45 to 19:00 h (CET). The participation at the event is free but registration is obligatory.
You can now register here.
You will find more information here

14. First 2 km of virtual fence installed in Romania!
On 20 July the first 2 km of virtual fence were installed in the Romanian project area, on the national Road DN1, between Brașov and Timișul de Sus. Representatives of the company that developed the virtual fence devices, iPTE, have travelled to Romania to assist the local team with the installation and putting in function of the devices. This is a first experimental installation on a sample track of 2 km, after which the functioning of the devices will be monitored and, in case of need, technical adaptations of the functioning of the virtual fence will be made.

13. The field activities of the LIFE SAFE-CROSSING project started again after the lock-down!!
In Italy (Abruzzo Lazio e Molise National Park and Majella National Park) field surveys were made in order to define the locations for the installation of the Animal-Vehicle Collision Prevention Systems, in order to require the final permits and to decide on the components to be purchased.

During the survey in Abruzzo National Park we were rewarded with the spotting of a bear cub right in one of the site where the concrete conservation actions will take place.
In Italy these surveys were also dedicated to the planning of the interventions foreseen in action C2 (readaptation of underpasses) and C3 (installation of specific road information panels).
In Romania the cleaning of underpasses has started, the interventions have taken place on 10 sites.
Enjoy the pictures of the field activities after the lockdown period!!!!!

12. Italy: Majella National Park and ANAS together to reduce animal-vehicle collision risks
On January 22 2020, the staff of the Majella National Park (PNM) and the National Body for the Management of the Roads (ANAS) organized a joined field-survey on the National Road n. 5 to evaluate the possibility to review the ongoing project of road modification, implementing additional measures to reduce animal-vehicle collision (AVC) risks.

The survey has been developed in the frame of a broader collaboration between PNM and ANAS established during the LIFE Project Safe-Crossing, where the PNM participates as associated beneficiary and ANAS supports the development of concrete conservation actions.
Reducing AVC risks is not easy and it can be particularly difficult when mitigation measures have to be implemented on existing roads. The collaboration between the PNM staff involved in the Life Safe-Crossing and ANAS in this phase when the work for the modification of National Road n. 5 is getting started, witnesses the actual willingness to deal with the AVC problem and to do the best possible to improve drivers safety and animals survival.

Road mortality is actually one of the most relevant threats to the survival of some animals that, crossing roads just to meet the basic requirement of freely moving in their territory, are often hit to death by vehicles. This threat is even more serious for the species at high risk of extinction like the Apennine brown bear, one of the target species of the Life Safe-Crossing. “The 2019” states the President of the PNM Lucio Zazzara “has been a black year for the Apennine brown bear as two reproductive females, one being a female with a cub, died hit by vehicles. This is a huge loss for this threatened population whose future mostly rely on reproductive females survival”.

11. Technical workshop of LIFE SAFE-CROSSING during IENE 2020 conference. SIGN UP!
The LIFE SAFE-CROSSING technical workshop 'Innovative techniques to mitigate transportation infrastructure impact on large carnivores' will be held at the University of Évora, Portugal, on April 7th 2020, in the framework of the IENE 2020 International Conference.
The Infrastructure and Ecology Network Europe IENE 2020 International Conference is one of the biggest events joining experts on ecology and transportation infrastructure.

Registration for the technical workshop is free!!
Early Bird registration to the IENE2020 conference is until 15 January 2020:

10. 11-12 November: Field visit to the Spanish project site in Andalucia
On 11-12 November 2019 a delegation of the project team visited the project sites in Aldalusia, Spain. The road segments selected for intervention are in the areas of Donana and Sierra Morena. The project sites were visited in order to discuss with the local team the details of the interventions to be carried out: installation of the AVC prevention systems and of the virtual fence.
The visit was followed by a plenary staff meeting, on the 13-14 November, in the headquarters of the Junta de Andalucia. The meeting allowed to assess the progress of the project until now and to discuss future activities.

9. 24 September 2019 - Presentation of the LIFE SAFE-CROSSING project at a specific symposium at the ICOET international conference in California, USA
The LIFE SAFE-CROSSING Project will be presented on 24 September 2019 during a specific session “The Road to Wildlife-Vehicle Conflict Mitigation is Paved with Good Data, Part 1” that will be held I the frame of the ICOET international conference, which will take place in California, USA, on 22-26 September. This will be an excellent opportunity to make the project known at a very wide scale beyond Europe.

8. Presentation of the LIFE SAFE-CROSSING project at the Romanian Palace of Parliament
The LIFE SAFE-CROSSING Project has been presented at the Ministerial Environmental Conference "Large Carnivore Management - Challenges and Solutions", which has taken place at the Romanian Palace of Parliament on 06-07 June 2019 and at which over 50 representatives of the EU member states of the European Commission have participated. The event's main objective was to bring together different stakeholders involved in large carnivore management to identify ways to improve coexistence of the local communities with these species and the project has gained great attention.

7. Networking visit between LIFE AmyBear and LIFE SAFE-CROSSING in Italy
Five members of the LIFE AmyBear Project Team, visited the National Parks of Majella and of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise between 15 and 18 April 2019, for exchanging information and experience. Mr. Spyros PSAROUDAS (CALLISTO), Mr. Nikos PAPAEFTHYMIOU, Ms. Sofia GLOUFTSI and Mr. Kostas Papageorgiou (Forestry Service) and Ms. Marina PROIKAKI (LEVER SA) participated in the Greek delegation. LEVER SA is the Coordinating Beneficiary, and Forestry Service (Region of Epirus and Western Macedonia, Greece) is one of the Associated Beneficiaries of the LIFE AmyBear project, while CALLISTO NGO is Associated Beneficiary in both projects: LIFE AmyBear and LIFE SafeCrossing.

Antonio Antonucci and Giovanna di Domenico from Majella N. Park’s (MNP) staff members guided the Greek Team in sites of the Park (like S.S. 17 that runs from Castel Di Sangro to Sulmona, being the most important road object of the Life Safe-Crossing concrete actions), while Andrea Gennai and Roberta Latini provided guidance in the Abruzzo, Lazio e Molise Park (PNALM). The Greek Team visited also the premises of PNALM at Pescasseroli and had a meeting with the President and other staff members of the Park, exchanging information and views on questions of common interest.

6. Presentation of the LIFE SAFE-CROSSING project at the LIFE Info day in Warsaw
On 17th April 2019 the LIFE SAFE-CROSSING project was presented at the Polish national LIFE info day in Warsaw. The event was attended by around 350 people and at least 300 joined the conference on-line. There has been the presence of the polish Ministry of the Environment, the polish Board of the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management and representatives of the European Commission, DG Environment. The LIFE SAFE-CROSSING project has been selected as an example of a transnational LIFE project, and also because the topic of wildlife-vehicle collisions is extremely important in Poland. There has been a great interest toward the project, and we set the basis for future collaborations.

5. First monitoring equipment installed at one of the Egnatia Highway underpasses in Greece
The first monitoring equipment was installed at one of the 45 underpasses to be monitored along highway A29 (Egnatia Highway) in Greece. This is part of an innovative end-to-end solution/prototype, developed by the Greek partner COSMOTE, that allows the automated capturing of the movements of wildlife that uses the underpasses to cross the bear-proof fenced highway and the depiction in a graphical environment for further analysis. The information will be used to identify the crossing structures to be re-adapted in order to render it more attractive to bears.
Read more

4. 13 March, presentation of LIFE SAFE-CROSSING on the 3rd Italian national TV
Yesterday (13.03) the LIFE SAFE-CROSSING project was presented during the nature dissemination programme GEO on the third Italian national TV Rai 3.
Watch from minute 1.11.00 at the following link:
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3. First opening event of the LIFE SAFE-CROSSING Project
The first national opening event has taken place in the Abruzzo Lazio e Molise National Park in Italy. A general presentation of the project has been made, followed by a detailed description of the Animal-Vehicle Collision Prevention System, which will be installed in the project sites, and of the actions planned in the Italian project areas. Over sixty persons have participated and the talks have been followed by a very active discussion round.

2. First visit on the Geek project area
The first field visit has been made to the Greek project area. The most critical sites on the national roads and the Egnatia Highway have been visited where the project actions will take place. It has been a good opportunity to share ideas among experts about the details of the interventions.
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1. Kick-off meeting of the LIFE SAFE-CROSSING Project
The LIFE SAFE-CROSSING project has started on 1 September 2018,  and on 19-20 November the staff of the project has met for the kick-off meeting in Orvieto, Italy. Twenty-seven representatives of the project partners have been present. It has been the first opportunity the staff members to get to know each other and to plan the first activities of the project.
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This project is funded with the contribution of the LIFE programme of the European Union

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Photos: Manuel Moral Castro; Haritakis Papaioanou, Balkan Chamois Society, Pindos, Valentino Mastrella/PNALM, Angelina Iannarelli/PNALM