One of the main threats to brown bear conservation in Europe is human-bear conflicts. To improve coexistence, it has been necessary to continuously search for new solutions. The biggest challenges in this area have proven to be the lack of knowledge of the species, excessive fear of the species, and habitat fragmentation as a result of urbanization and the spread of transport infrastructure. The latter leads to high mortality of bears in traffic. All these conditions, especially fear and the lack of knowledge of the species, also lead to a lower tolerance of bears by people.
The project had three main objectives.
1. Population-level monitoring, management, and conservation of brown bears in the northern Dinaric Mountains and the south-eastern Alps;
2. Decrease of human-bear conflicts and promotion of coexistence;
3. Promotion of natural expansion of brown bear from the Dinaric Mts. into the Alps.
The project ran from July 2014 to June 2019, for 62 months. 9 partners from 4 countries were involved, namely Slovenia, Croatia, Italy and Austria.
The lead partner was the Slovenia Forest Service. Other Slovenian partners were the University of Ljubljana and Erico Velenje. Read more about the project here.