One of the key objectives of the proposed project is the efficient management of human-bear conflict situations. Given the unknown component of the real scale of bear population losses in the area targeted by the project, it is of outstanding importance to acquire a sound knowledge and overall picture on the existing population status in order to better orientate and adjust the geographic and operational scope of the concrete conservation actions. Therefore it is important to gather concrete information on the number of bears present in the area targeted by the project, the population structure (age classes, sex ratio etc) as well as its genetic variability and robustness. Data on the population size and genetic status of the local bear population are crucial parameters that influence population viability, management decisions and conservation planning all three as part of the long term objectives of the proposed project.
This action will be implemented with the combination of three non invasive methods/techniques:
(a) Field collection of bear biological material (hairs, excrements) for their use in genetic analyses (DNA fingerprinting),
(b) field tracking surveys,
(c) IR cameras network operation for bear individuals’ identification.
Methods (b) and (c) will be complementary and auxiliary to method (a) which is expected to produce the most robust outcome.