Volunteers from the Oppal association help to protect the sheep against wolf attacks during night time, to allow the shepherd to rest. At that time, 400 Valais black-nosed sheep are grazing on the Pontimia alp, located in the heart of one of Switzerland's 26 wolf packs.
The Swiss Canton Valais alone invests almost three million Swiss francs (around 3.5 million USD) a year in herd protection measures to help the canton's 157 mountain pastures. These measures include the construction of fences and the support of shepherds. There are currently over 250 wolves in Switzerland. Last year, they were responsible for around 1,500 attacks on livestock, mainly sheep.