Pyrenean bears

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

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

Brown bear population in the Pyrenees

May 18th, 2008

oso pardo Photo El País

Another update on brown bears in the Pyrenees. The population of bears in the range has “stabilised” at 20 individuals, of which only two (old) males and one cub belong to the autocthonous “group of Pyrenean bears. The remaining bears are those introduced from Eastern Europe in 1996, 1997 and 2006, or are cubs of these animals.

In Catalonia, in the last year at least 12 bears have been recorded passing some time here, and as some of these are now cubs, we can now begin to talk about a second generation growing up since the reintroductions began. A sign of the increased activity of bears is the first recording of a bear In the Vall d’Arán for a number of years. Watch the video of a female bear being followed by a male here. Both have recently awoken from hibernation.

The latest DNA evidence suggests that the genetic difference between Spanish bears and those from the rest of Europe is small, and therefore there should be no reason to oppose transfers from other areas on biological grounds. See Wikipedia for more on links on this. In 2007, brown bears in the Catalan Pyrenees killed 20 sheep, 1 cow and 1 horse, which the Catalan Government compensated to a tune of 6,640 euros. A small price to pay. See pirineos.com

See also Pyrenean bear news