Action C4 aims at enhancing the operational status, effectiveness and efficiency of the newly established national Bear Emergency Team (established following Common Ministerial Decision issued on 07-02-2014/FEK 212/07-02-2014). The Team will involve permanent staff members from one of the beneficiaries (Forestry Services) as well as qualified staff from CALLISTO project partner. The BET will be operationally ready and capable to intervene in most of the cases where a bear-human interference incident occurs characterized by an emergency. Accumulated experience from previous LIFE projects (LIFE09NAT/GR/000333) implemented in an adjacent area of the actually proposed project area, the Bear Emergency Team from NGO “CALLISTO” (before the establishment of the national BET) had to deal with no less than fifty seven (57) different intervention cases over a three year period. Experience has shown that bear-human interference situations may occur under four (4) main categories with the following indicative frequency:
- Trespassing of human settlements in rural zones (25%)
- Damage on agricultural production (3 sub-categories) (52%)
- Autopsies in poaching cases (3%)
- Traffic fatalities (18%).
The existing official manual of Human-Bear Interference Management Protocol will optimize and know- how transfer as well as improved intervention capacities of the mixed BET which will operate under this action.
The bear emergency team members on behalf of CALLISTO project partner will consist of four (4) trained experts (2 bear experts, 1 veterinarian and 1 experienced local assistant). The BET will also involve three (3) staff members from the local Forestry Service.
The evaluation of each emergency case will be based on a ranking criteria table officially adopted by the national Bear Emergency Protocol. In all the above cases where bear-human conflict situations occur the bear emergency team will intervene on the spot the fastest possible and according to the already established manual official protocol. Depending on the circumstances, the bear might have to be aversively conditioned, in an effort to reverse its habituated or problematic behavior or relocated and in some extreme cases trans-located.