bears

Articles in ‘bears’

No livestock killed by bears in Catalonia

November 7th, 2009 The improved protection for shepherds and herders in Catalonia has meant for the third year running no livestock has been lost to bear attacks. Fapas

The Pyrenees need more bears

October 30th, 2009 A new French study has shown that at least 13 bears should be released in the Pyrenees in the near future if the species has any chance of becoming viable. La Mañana On another story, Camille, one of only two bears in Navarra has killed four sheep in Roncal, as he fattens up for hibernation. Here

Timid French support for bears?

October 23rd, 2009 France has promised to “replace” any bears killed by hunters in the Pyrenees as part of its commitment to the animal, but does not seem likely to release any additional bears. Whether this means that the four bears killed in the last decade are to be replaced is still unclear. Fapas With only 20 odd animals in the range, freezing the reintroduction programme in this way may very well lead to its extinction.

Pyrenees bear hunt

October 23rd, 2009

I came across this rather harrowing photo in a book review of Historie de l’ours dans les Pyrénées in El Pireneo Digital. It was taken in 1928 after a hunt in Urdós, Valle de Aspe across the border in France. In 1935, some 200 bears still survived in the Pyrenees and Pre-Pyrenees. The last bear steak was offered in restaurant in French Pyrenees in 1960. A ban on hunting came in Spain in 1967  and in France several years later. Today, with just 20 odd animals in the entire Pyrenees – most of which were brought from the Balkans, further reintroduction is the only way of re-creating a viable population of bears in the range.

Future of Pyrennean bears in doubt

October 21st, 2009 Without further reintroductions, the low number of bears in the Pyrenees (15-20 odd) make the conservation of the species inviable. For the time being, the French government has no plans to continue its reintroduction plans. Public support for bears in Catalonia is as high as 80%, but strong local opposition particularly in the Vall de Aran prevents any reintroduction programme from this side of the mountain range. Fapas from La Mañana de Llerida

Latest news from Fapas

October 20th, 2009

Fapas have released their latest news bulletin with an interesting selection of news on carrions, vultures and bears.  In the picture a bear tucks into a cow. Read

Pyrenean bear map

August 28th, 2009

I thought this map from Fapas showing the latest bear numbers in the Pyrenees was interesting

http://fapas.es/images/imagenes_cyc/2009/20090814_esquem_oso_pirineo.jpg

Cantabrian bear groups rejoined

August 18th, 2009

Image:mapa fop.jpg

Great news from biologists at Oviedo University; they now have positive DNA tested proof that two young bears are the progeny of a female bear from the east and a male from the west. Two hair/faeces samples taken in Redes Natural Park (Asturias) in November last year found two siblings, one male and of one unidentified sex. Another sample taken this spring in the Picos de Europa National Park has confirmed the analysis. More on this soon. Europa Press

Many thanks to Lisa on the forum for letting me know about this news, which is key to guaranteeing genetic diversity for Cantabrian bears, whose twin populations were separated more than 60 years ago.

Increase in brown bear population

July 27th, 2009

Good news – in part. The population of brown bears in the Cantabrian Mountains continues to grow. According to the latest bear census, a total of 19 female bears raised 37 cubs last year. The census was carried out in Asturias, Cantabria and Castilla y León by the Fundación Oso Pardo. However, the situation in the eastern populations of bears straddling Cantabria and Castilla y León continues to be “worrying”. Of the 37 cubs raised, just three cubs were raised in this area. The rest were raised by bears in the far healthier western population. El Mundo

In demonstration of the improved situation of bears in the western area, the World Conservation Union has just reduced the classification of the bears in this area from “Critically endangered” to “Endangered”. La Nueva España

Beehives help wildlife

July 4th, 2009 A scientific study by FAPAS has shown that the presence of beehives increases the production of wild bilberries by 80% on which bears and capercaillies feed. Fasas