Slovenia bears 2.pdf


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EXPANDINGBROWNBEAR POPULATION
OF SLOVENIA* Adamic

OF BEAREMIGRATION
IMPLICATIONS

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neighboringareasof Italy andAustria. Since 1990, only
problembears which repeatedlyattackedcattle or sheep
on open pastureswere shot. Permission to shoot these
animals, about 2-3 annually,is given on a case by case
basis, by the SlovenianMinistryof Agricultureand Forestry.
In 1992 (29-30 June) the Alps-Adria Bear Specialist
Groupmet in Ljubljana.Acute problemsconcerningthe
returnof the brown bear to the Alps were discussed. A
resolution on a common strategy to support the
transfrontierextension of bears, addressed to the governmentsof participatingcountries, was adoptedat this
meeting.

Although cases of bear emigrationfrom southcentral
Slovenia were recordedduringperiods of low bear density in the first half of the 20th century(Erzen 1953, Pirc
1954, Amon 1961, Svigelj 1961), movementof bearsinto
northwesternSlovenia and neighboringareas of Austria
and Italy became more frequent in the mid 1960s
(Anderluh 1972; Bozic 1972; Gaspersic 1973; Adamic
1987, 1990; Perco and Boscagli 1987; Strumbelj1989).
These increasedemigrationsoccurredwith the growthof
the bear population in the core areas of southcentral
Slovenia. According to Servheen (1987), Pulliainen
(1983a,b)andRogers(1987) frequentsightingsof females
with cubs in newly occupied areasis a reliable sign of an
expanding population. Thus, frequent sightings of females with cubs in the outer managementarea suggests
that the brown bear population in Slovenia is progressively expanding(Table1). The firstreliablesigns of denning activityin the outermanagementareawere reported
in 1961 near Podbrdoin Baska Grapa(I. Arman, pers.
commun.).
Following recommendationsfrom the 1986 Trento,
Italy,WorldWildlife Fund Conferenceon brownbear in
the Alps, the HuntersAssociation of Slovenia restricted
the shooting of bears in the outer area in 1987. This
was to supportthe naturalrecolonizationof bears into

PROBLEMSOF FUTUREEMIGRATION
For the brownbear to continueto increasein Slovenia
and to expand into the southeasternAlps of Italy and
Austria,several problemsmust be addressed. Although
damages incurredby bears have been promptly reimbursed,severalcases of bear predationon sheep in 1991
and 1992 in northwesternSlovenia triggeredrising opposition among sheep farmersagainst the protectionof
the brown bear and other large predatorsin the outer
managementarea. Duringthe draftingof futurehunting
legislation this opposition,which could seriously impact

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*ECore management area (593) *Outer management area (45)
Fig.3. Brownbear harvestin Sloveniafrom1977-91. (Totalharvestin parentheses).

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