Winter Olympics: Damage to Wolf Habitat?

We’ve talked up the environmental program at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin (about the flame, the hydrogen vehicles, and the carbon neutral claim) a bit over the last couple weeks, but a recent article on caught our attention. According to the article, the largest environmental impact of the Olympics could be on the wolves, bears, and lynx that call that region of Italy home. Wolves in particular, the article says, are at risk--hunters killed them off in 1921 and a wildlife effort only reintroduced them a few years ago.

Though wolves are now a protected species across most of Europe, Italy claims a mere 250. For new ski jumps and a bobsled run, forest was cleared. Francesca Marucco, a researcher leading a European Union study on the wolves, believes one pack may have lived near the new ski jump hills.
(image top: copyright Animal Planet; image bottom copyright Mairi Beautyman)