Slovenia bears 2.pdf


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26 Int. Conf:Bear Res. and Manage. 9(2) 1997

Fig. 2. Brown bear management areas in Slovenia.

dinaricum-Abiesspp.) and oak-beech (Quercus-Fagus)
forests with good feeding and denning sites (Adamic
1990). Most of this core area is sparsely settled or uninhabitedby humans (Ciglar 1979). Recent telemetry
studies of brown bear movements in adjacent Gorski
Kotarin the Republic of Croatia(Huber 1987) demonstratedthat areas on both sides of the borderrepresent
continuous brown bear habitat covering approximately
5,000 km2. It is estimated that 400-450 bears live in
this joint area (Adamic 1992). According to the 1976
Act on Hunting in Slovenia (Uradni list SRS 25/76),
brown bear managementin the core area must include
the following: (1) centralplanningof the yearly harvest
and its spatial distribution,(2) regulationof legal hunting methods, including the shooting season (October 1April 30) and legal hunting weapons and calibers, (3)
reimbursementto local farmersfor damages caused by
brown bears, (4) supplemental feeding at permanent
feeding sites, (5) protectionof key habitat,and (6) recording data collected on harvestedbears into the Central Slovenian Bear Register.

A second areaof about 17,000 km2(85% of Slovenia)
was designatedthe outermanagementarea(Fig. 2). The
densityof bearsin this outerareais much lower thanthat
found in the core area. Based on crudeestimates, about
10%of the populationof Slovenianbearsis found in the
outermanagementarea,primarilyin the northwesternand
western region. The main source of bears in this outer
population appearsto be emigrantsthat leave the core
area and disperse in several directions (Adamic 1990).
Accordingto the 1976Acton Huntingin Slovenia(Uradni
list SRS 25/76), brown bears in this outer area were declaredunprotected.Membersof local huntersclubs were
allowed to shoot bears year-round,but the taking of females with cubs was illegal. Bears were unprotectedin
the outermanagementareabecause of frequentbearpredationon sheep and cattle and damageto beehives, fruit
trees, corn fields, and othercrops. Althoughthese damages were promptly reimbursed, local farmers were
againstprotectingthe brownbear. Despite its unprotected
status,on averageonly 3 bears were shot annuallyin the
outerarea (Fig. 3).