New Brown bear project just started

An important step for the protection of the Dinaric-Pindos bear population: In close cooperation with our partners in the Balkans and the Italian foundation Fondazione Capellino, we have started a tripoint bear project.

Dinaric-Pindos-Population

The range of brown bears in the central area of the Dinaric-Pindos region.

© Fondazione Capellino
big brown bear

Brown bears are the largest fissipedia in Europe, but their population in the Balkans is endangered.

© Wolfgang Bajohr
dead brown bear on a street

One cause of danger is road traffic. The construction of green bridges is intended to remedy this.

© A.Riegler/Callisto NGO

Knowledge about occurrence, population size, but also about threats of the Brown bears in the Dinaric-Pindos population is not very deep, mainly in the non-EU Member States of the population range. Together with specialised partner organisations, we want to change this. An important building block to achieve the ambitious goal is the just started “Tripoint Brown Bear Project”, made possible by our partnership with Fondazione Capellino (Capellino Foundation) which apports 50% of the contribution, with the objective to ensure Brown bear conservation in the transboundary area between Albania, Greece and North Macedonia.

As an important step towards the successful protection and management of the Dinaric-Pindos Brown bear population, we just started to implement the 1.5-year Tripoint Brown bear pilot project in Albania (AL), North Macedonia (MK) and Greece (GR).

This project will help us:

  • to secure the necessary support from the relevant authorities and key stakeholders for the transboundary management of Brown bears in the project region in Albania, Greece and North Macedonia;
  • to identify hot spots of current and future habitat fragmentation and develop recommendations for their mitigation, including the creation of protected areas, connectivity corridors and crossing structures;
  • to improve the coexistence between bears and humans, namely by the creation of population monitoring teams and bear emergency teams.

Close cooperation among EuroNatur and its partner organisations from the three involved countries, MES, PPNEA and Callisto – with the support of Fondazione Capellino – will contribute in deploying and implementing an integrated approach around 4 strategies: a) policy work for sustainable conservation, b) best practices and innovation in conservation work, c) building ownership with transparent and inclusive cooperation and d) capacity building.

Background information:

  • The Dinaric-Pindos Brown bear population stretches across 9 countries, more than any other of the 10 bear populations in Europe. The north-western and south-eastern parts of the population are in EU Member States (Slovenia (SI), Croatia (HR) and Greece (GR)), but the central part of the bear population is located in 6 non-EU countries at various stages of EU accession (Bosnia-Hercegovina (BA), Serbia (RS), Montenegro (ME), Kosovo (XK), Northern Macedonia (MK) and Albania (AL)). The total population size is estimated at approximately 3,300 bears (of which about 40% live in non-EU countries). The population is classified as vulnerable by IUCN. At the same time the awareness of EU guidelines for population level conservation and management is very low in the Dinaric region, as is the capacity and competences to follow those guidelines.
  • Fondazione Capellino is an independent non-profit commercial organization, whose statutory projects and objectives are the protection of biodiversity, habitat reconnection and recovery, and the fight against climate change. The vision of the foundation: Southwestern Balkan is a region where brown bear populations are living in sustainably managed and transnationally connected habitats in coexistence with humans.

     

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