Measures on the protection of the brown bear were discussed at MOEW

18 Jun, 2021 | 17:33

Measures for the protection of the brown bear species were outlined at a thematic meeting at the Ministry of Environment and Water (MOEW) today by representatives of institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the scientific community.

“The adoption of an updated action plan for the brown bear in Bulgaria and the resumption of the work of the National Commission for the Brown Bear are among the main tasks to ensure the protection of this protected species,” said Deputy Minister Emilia Toncheva. The director of the Executive Forest Agency (EFA) Alexander Dunchev noted that it is necessary to establish the causes for poaching and the other problems related to the species. The meeting was attended by Deputy Minister Petar Dimitrov, representatives of RIEW - Smolyan, the Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the National Museum of Natural History, the Faculty of Biology of Sofia University “Kliment Ohridski”, hunting organizations in the country, and others.

An important measure for the protection of the brown bear is the creation of “rapid response” groups at the RIEW and national parks to react when necessary. A good example of such a group already exists at RIEW - Smolyan, on whose territory the largest population of brown bears is located and, accordingly, has received the biggest number of signals for damages. Deputy Minister Toncheva clarified that the organization of such rapid response groups is foreseen in the draft Action Plan for the Brown Bear. The feeding of hunting species was noted as a problem and should be limited - only in the winter. “We need to work with local people for better information and educational campaigns,” said Emilia Toncheva.

A project for updating the Action Plan for the Brown Bear in Bulgaria, funded by Operational Program “Environment” 2014-2020, is drafted by the Four Paws Foundation. “We will complete the work at the end of the year and we will hold a public discussion,” said Miroslav Ivanov, a representative of the organization. The Four Paws Foundation responded in assistance to the RIEW - Smolyan on the most recent signals for the rescue and accommodation of the three bears found near the villages of Smilyan and Chepelare this month. They are currently housed in the Dancing Bear Park in Belitsa and are in good health.

A meeting was also held today with representatives of the Four Paws Foundation, whereby the role of zoos for the conservation of biodiversity and the genetic fund of species was discussed.