Balkani Wildlife Society


Brown Bear

Balkani Wildlife Society is working for study and conservation of Large carnivores in the country. These species are indicators for preserved habitats suitable for other species existence. The program for study and conservation of the Wolf in Bulgaria as well as the planned programs for the other 2 species – Brown bear and Lynx are aiming at conservation of their populations and habitats in peaceful cohabitation with people in the country. At the beginning of 2005, started the work on projects aiming to increasing knowledge of wild brown bear populations in Bulgaria and at the establishment of an effective action plan to protect the species in the country. The leading organization is ALERTIS – Fund for Bear and Nature Conservation, while the coordination organization in Bulgaria is Balkani Wildlife Society. Project partners are: The Bulgarian Nature Research Organization, Science and Education Science Center for Ecology, Sofia Zoo, Institute of Zoology at the Bulgarian Academy of Science and the National Natural Science Museum. The project comprises of two parts: The research part of the project is performed by four field teams operating on the territory of the Rhodopi, Rila, Pirin, The Central Balkan mountain ranges and the area of smaller mountains inhabited by bears. Information on the bears’ habitats quality, food preferences, actual distribution, as well as roads and technical equipment that could be an obstacle for the seasonal movements and bear-human conflicts is collected and analyzed. Other innovative part of the integrative research is DNA samples gathering by using hair traps. The social component of the project is the establishment of a working group including representatives of Ministry of Environment and Waters, Ministry of Forestry and Agriculate, different stakeholders, hunters and NGOs. The aim of the working group is to reveal any problems related to the protection of the bear populations in Bulgaria, to look for methods and ideas for their resolution and to work in the direction of establishment of a working action plan that meets the needs of all interested groups.