The Brown Bear: An Endangered Species
By Spiros Tzelepis
The brown bear is considered as one of the endangered species in Western, Central and Southern Europe and in North America since its population has declined by 50% during the two previous centuries.
The brown bear
In Greece there are about 110-130 individual bears, one of the largest populations in the European Union. The fact that there is communication with the other populations in the neighboring Balkan countries increases the animal's survival possibilities in Greece, while the bear population in Italy, Spain and central France is constantly declining because of their geographical isolation.
Nevertheless, scientific research shows that even in Greece the bear population is decreasing and that its geographical distribution is very limited as the population becomes isolated because of the fragmentation of the geographical areas where the bears used to spread. That is why the animal has been characterized as a "threatened-vulnerable species" the protection of which is a top priority.
The fact that the bear still lives in the mountains is a proof of the good condition of the ecosystem while its disappearance will cause loss of precious genetic material and limitation to biodiversity on a planetary scale.
The problem of the brown bear is connected with the captive bears, which includes two cases:
The above situation was the incentive for measures to be taken against these phenomena and projects which deal with the issue have arisen.
Reconstruction: July-August-September 2002
© Copyright 2002 Spiros Tzelepis
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