Navigation Links
European law could be unbearable for Croatia's brown bears
Date:9/26/2013

Croatia joined the European Union on 1 July and conservation scientists fear that the EU's rules could cause problems for its brown bear population.

The country has been managing its brown bears as game animals, meaning they can be hunted; but under EU legislation, bears are a protected species and can only be shot if they are deemed to be problem animals.

This might seem to be a positive outcome for the bears. However, it could lead to reduced tolerance for bears among local people, because the local economy will lose valuable revenue from hunting, according to a study by researchers from Imperial College London and Zagreb University.

They argue that a system involving hunting ensures local support for bears in Croatia, which is vital in ensuring the animals' long-term survival. It was a lack of local support for large carnivores, such as wolves and bears, that led to these animals disappearing from much of Europe in previous centuries.

Under the Croatian hunting system, 10 to 15 per cent of the total bear population can be killed each year, and individual hunting organisations receive the right to hunt a portion of this quota. These organisations sell the rights to shoot bears for trophies to hunters, which enables them to provide employment to local people, and to compensate farmers quickly for any bear damage. Under this system, the local economy has benefited and the bear population has remained stable.

In contrast, in neighbouring Slovenia, bears are protected under EU law. This means that local people gain little from their presence, and are less tolerant of them. Many bears are killed as problem animals, for damaging crops or endangering people and livestock. The researchers estimate that on average over the last five years, 20 per cent of Slovenia's bear population has been killed each year, compared with around 8 per cent of the bear population in Croatia.

At present, trophy hunting for bears is still permitted in Croatia, under derogation from EU law, but the researchers are keen to see a more long-term solution.

Professor E.J. Milner-Gulland from the Department of Life Sciences, who led the research, said: "Local hunting associations in Croatia currently have a positive relationship with the bears; the bear is accepted and valued by local communities. By contrast, many Slovenians have a negative attitude to bears, and we think this is because, unlike in Croatia, they see bears as nuisances rather than economically valuable and useful. If hunting was outlawed in Croatia, this would probably put a strain on the Croatians' relationships with bears and could result in increased conflict between people and bears."

According to Professor Milner-Gulland these issues suggest that there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution to conservation policy and the EU needs to devolve more conservation decisions to the regional or local levels, because policies need the consent of local people in order to be successful.

"There is strong evidence that Croatia's current system is beneficial for both local people and the bear population, and changing it could result in more tension between people and bears," said Professor Milner-Gulland. "We are not implying that trophy hunting is an appropriate management option for all brown bear populations. However, not every country is the same, and there needs to be regional variation in conservation policies so that people are able to manage their own populations of high priority species successfully."


'/>"/>

Contact: Laura Gallagher
l.gallagher@imperial.ac.uk
44-020-759-48432
Imperial College London
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Evolutionary medicine of skin cancer risk among Europeans
2. New data reveals that the average height of European males has grown by 11cm in just over a century
3. Pottery residue reveals spice use in prehistoric European cuisine
4. European fish stocks poised for recovery
5. Egg donation in European clinics: Why do women do it?
6. Frost & Sullivan: Renewable Energy Targets Help Sustain European Biopower Market amid Economic Uncertainty
7. New alliance for European excellence and competitiveness in life sciences
8. 21st European Biomass Conference and Exhibition
9. European Society of Human Genetics urges caution over use of new genetic sequencing techniques
10. Core for Life, a new European alliance in biomedical research
11. European support for the first network of research and training in political ecology
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/5/2016)... , Feb. 5, 2016 ... addition of the "Global Facial Recognition ... --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/5kvw8m/global_facial ) has announced ... Recognition Market 2016-2020" report to their ... ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/5kvw8m/global_facial ) has announced the addition ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... 3, 2016 Vigilant Solutions announces today that ... Missouri solved two recent hit-and-run ... data from Vigilant Solutions. Brian Wenberg ... the victim was walking out of a convenience store and witnessed an elderly ... his vehicle, striking his vehicle and leaving the scene.  ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... 2, 2016 Checkpoint Inhibitors for Cancer ... Are you interested in the future of ... checkpoint inhibitors. Visiongain,s report gives those predictions to ... national level. Avoid falling behind in data ... and revenues those emerging cancer therapies can achieve. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... Massachusetts , February 4, 2016 - New FDA ... - New FDA action date of July 22, ... of July 22, 2016   - ... U.S. in the past decade indicated for the treatment of signs and symptoms ... Lifitegrast has the potential to be the only product approved in the U.S. ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... China , Feb. 4, 2016 Beike ... and various medical institutions attended a ceremony in late ... integrative, personalized cell therapy in 2016. ... "Shenzhen Clinical Translation Platform for Personalized Cell Therapy" was ... Regional Cell Production Center, both subsidiaries of Beike Biotechnology ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... 2016 ContraVir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTRV ... commercialization of targeted antiviral therapies, announced today that it ... to be held February 8-9, 2016, at the Waldorf ... Growth & Healthcare Conference, taking place in ... James Sapirstein , Chief Executive Officer of ContraVir, ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... 4, 2016 Strasbourg, France ... --> Strasbourg, France , to the ... PharmaVentures is pleased to announce that it acted as an ... unit in Strasbourg, France , to the ... --> --> Transgene (Euronext: TNG), a member ...
Breaking Biology Technology: