Brown Bear Conservation

Euronatur is a registered and well established non profit organisation with objectives including; implementation of nature conservation and species protection projects, maintenance of endangered populations of wild animals and their habitat, fostering cross-border cooperation with international experts and participation in planning and implementation of large scale protected areas.

Following work to stabilise numbers and improve the habitat of the brown bear population in the western ranges of the Cantabrian Mountains, it is now important to improve the situation for the population in the eastern ranges. The project aims to increase the bears’ food supply, minimise the impact of hunting and poaching, monitor the status and development of the population and organise age-based educational activities through:

  • Increasing food supply through the planting of 6,000 fruit trees
  • Reducing persecution of brown bears and poaching of game through strong presence of rangers and removal of snare traps
  • Preventing local school children from becoming poachers and hunters through environmental programmes, promoting understanding of diversity and the value of local flora and fauna

The Update

Planting of 2,000 new fruit tree saplings was delayed until the autumn in the region, due to a particularly warm summer. This was carried out in 4 carefully selected areas, where the brown bears have been increasing their presence year round, and hopes are high for the settlement there of a reproductive female.

Intensive surveillance work has been carried out against illegal hunting, and several wild boar traps (also dangerous for bears) have been discovered and dismantled. Automatic cameras have also been installed in several locations not only to monitor movements of bears and the health of their cubs, but also of illegal hunting. This also served to show the successful reintegration of an injured brown bear, after nursing following being hit by a car.

The ‘Bear Way’, a footpath route through the bear territory used for activities by adults and school children, underwent maintenance work during 2010.