The management of an emergency
The city of silk and, for a few days, also of coypu. Garlate, in the province of Lecco, is a small town overlooking the lake of the same name and which is famous for its museum dedicated to the famous and precious material. For some time now, however, the chronicles have referred to the Lombard municipality especially as regards rodents. Right here, in fact, there is a colony surveyed and monitored, a situation that has divided public opinion. In Lombardy, but also in other parts of Italy, coypu represents an emergency of no small importance and in Garlate in particular it has been thought about killing it more than once, as indeed in the whole province of Lecco.
The numbers are soon said. Up to now, the Municipality of Lecco has been able to sterilize about twenty specimens: it is not possible to establish whether the coypu present in the area are all those registered, it must also be taken into account that the lake basin is very vast and the animals in question could be more numerous or even arrive from other parts of the world. At the same time, rodent communities do not allow external specimens to be part of them.
The economic commitment
The municipal administration does not bear the costs, therefore the project is at no cost to the citizens: from a financial point of view, the Progeco Ambiente e Natura association is responsible for it". Nor is it the first experiment of this type in Italy, indeed there are several precedents that are worth mentioning. In fact, even before Garlate, experimentation with coypu had been carried out in Buccinasco (province of Milan), and then expanded to various locations in Emilia Romagna, including Pandino (Cremona). In Garlate, however, what are defined as the most important results were recorded.
According to what was reported by the mayor of the Lecco municipality, Giuseppe Conti, there are no longer large sightings of nutrias in the town, furthermore the damage would have decreased and the presence of rodents near the lake would not be constant and cumbersome as in recent years. Is it to be believed? Based on the reconstruction of Samuele Venturini, biologist and main contact person for Progeco, the culling goes even in the opposite direction to solving the problem, indeed this sampling would allow the other specimens to have more space and resources to proliferate. However, Venturini himself admitted that Garlate's experimentation could go well but with the necessary limitations, so not everything must be taken at face value.
Advantages and disadvantages
To be more precise, the surveyed and monitored colony can prove useful in those areas where the control, the approach and obviously also the sterilization of the coypu is easier. On the contrary, the situation changes completely if we look at the open countryside and large spaces: in these two situations, a colony like that of the municipality of Lecco cannot really be taken into consideration. Singing victory is not recommended especially if one compares this situation in Lombardy with another that has had Piedmont as its backdrop in recent years.
The sterilizations of rodents carried out between 2017 and 2021 in the Turin area did not allow us to achieve any concrete results. Indeed, the measure was a real flop, so much so that local authorities were soon worried again. A second floor of the same type was therefore set aside, also and above all due to the costs incurred. One might say that all that glitters is not gold: there has been and is a lot of talk about Garlate, for now residents and farmers can breathe a sigh of relief, but a moment is enough to see the situation fall out of the blue .