Experiences interchange with the LIFE ARCPROM project in Pola de Somiedo (Asturias). May 2023

Experiences interchange with the LIFE ARCPROM project in Pola de Somiedo (Asturias). May 2023

Experiences interchange with the LIFE ARCPROM project in Pola de Somiedo (Asturias). May 2023 1000 532 Fundación Oso Pardo

From 22 to 26 May 2023 and within the framework of the LIFE Bears with Future project, an international meeting was held in Somiedo (Asturias) with members of the LIFE ARCPROM project, which develops actions to improve the cohabitation between bears and human activities in three National Parks in Greece (Rodope Mountain Range, Prespa and Pindos) and in the Majella National Park in Italy.

The meeting was highly productive, with active participation by representatives of the Department of the Environment and Territorial Cohesion of the Principality of Asturias, the Somiedo Natural Park director, the wildlife rangers of the Brown Bear patrols of Asturias, the Biodiversity Research Institute (of the Higher Council for Scientific Research – Oviedo University –  Principality of Asturias) and the Bear Foundation  of Asturias.

In-depth analyses of the damages caused by brown bears to economic activities were explored. This included the intervention by the Brown Bear Patrol of the Principality of Asturias in a true certified case of a wolf/bear attack in a livestock farm. The complete process of how the agents obtained samples and analysed different evidence in order to determine which species had caused the attack was observed. Those assisting the meeting were able to resolve doubts on the methodologies used and the management of the compensation process for damage by large carnivores in this autonomous region.

Discussion panel in Pola de Somiedo (Asturias) of the LIFE ARCPROM and Bears wth Future projects. Photo FOP

Furthermore, an intense discussion panel session was held where interesting strategies and management methods were exchanged for dealing with habituated and/or conflictive bears in the three populations in the south of Europe. This meeting is deemed as particularly important as it allowed us to keep in close contact with how work in this aspect is being developed in other countries where the bear population is also increasing. Additionally, in the case of Greece, the bear population is greater than ours, which gives us the possibility to gain an idea of the potential future scenario for the bear in Spain. In Italy the project is centred on the brown bear population in the Apennine Mountains, a small isolated population of around 100 bears, but where for some time work has been underway to avoid habituation by some individuals.

Visit to the plantations of the LIFE Bears with Future project on land belonging to the Neighbourhood Council of Anllares del Sil, León. Photo FOP

The representatives of the LIFE ARCPROM project also showed great interest in the actions being undertaken for adaptation to climate change being undertaken by the LIFE Bears with Future project. Consequently, on one of the days we visited a plantation in Anllares del Sil (León) to explain in situ why and how we are working with the sweet chestnut. The project’s director, Guillermo Palomero and field technician, Luis Fernández, also explained how the selection of terrain responded to earlier studies on the different climate change scenarios. Likewise, the importance of using a proportion of plants grafted with local varieties at risk of disappearing, to favour their adaptation, resistance and fruiting capacity, was explained.

The “Bears with Future” Project, co-financed by the European Union LIFE Project, will be carried out until 2025. It is coordinated by the Brown Bear Foundation in partnership with the Biodiversity Foundation (Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge), and the Natural heritage Foundation of the Castilla y León regional government. The Government of Asturias is co-financer, via the Directorate General for the Environment and Rural Planning, of the Department of Rural Development, Agriculture and Fisheries. Tierra Pura Foundation collaborates technically and co-finances the project.


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