Protecting bears in Slovenia

Campaigning for a hunting ban

In some countries it is still legal to shoot brown bears. The situation is particularly critical in Slovenia. Since the Slovenian government claimed in 2002 and following years that there were   more than 1000 brown bears in the country the EU commission accepted the culling1 of a large number of them after Slovenia's accession to the European Union. However, according to a study published by the Biotechnical Faculty of the University of Ljubljana in 2008 there were only 400 or at the most 475 bears in Slovenia at that time. EuroNatur assumes there are in fact even fewer bears than that.

This situation makes it clear that bears are critically endangered in Slovenia unless hunting is banned. But not only in Slovenia: There is great danger that the total bear population in the Dinaric Alps will be affected by the rate of deaths through hunting in Slovenia. Bears roaming from further south are often shot in Slovenia. This threatens to cause the gradual extinction of the Dinaric bear population. Since Slovenia forms the natural link between the Dinaric Mountains and the Alps it means the survival of the few remaining bears in the Italian and Austrian Alps is becoming more and more improbable. 


What actions is EuroNatur taking to protect bears in Slovenia?

  • Increasing pressure: EuroNatur is pressuring the Slovenian government to declare a ban on the hunting of the brown bear forthwith and to make the protection of the brown bear a central goal of their nature conservation policy.
  • Habitats for bears: We are driving forward the establishment of trans-boundary nature conservation areas between Slovenia and Croatia. In doing so we are creating the basis for a possible return of the brown bear to the Alps. It is only if bears have a future in Croatia and Slovenia that there is a chance of growing numbers of bears crossing the border and finding their way north towards Italy and Austria.  



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