The WWF is criticizing a recent decree by the Sicilian Regional Government that authorizes the killing of 167 Italian hares as part of an experimental hunting program. The WWF argues that the Italian hare, a sub-species endemic to central and southern Italy and Sicily, should be protected due to its importance to biodiversity. The organization claims that the hare population in Sicily is the most abundant in the world, while populations in other regions are fragmented and threatened. The WWF also highlights the contradiction of the regional government’s decision, as it simultaneously extends the state of emergency for wildfires and expands hunting permissions for a species already impacted by fires and drought. The organization has called for the suspension of the hunting season to protect the hares and their habitat, but has received no response from the government. Additionally, the Institute for Environmental Protection and Research has recommended limiting or suspending hunting for resident species like hares, which rely on terrestrial ecosystems that have been devastated by months of wildfires in Sicily. The fires and drought have altered the environment, impacting vegetation structure, composition, and distribution, and negatively affecting the physical condition, reproductive success, and mortality of wildlife.
Il WWf accusa la Regione: «Dopo gli incendi la caccia, in pericolo in Sicilia la lepre italica»