KAZALCI OKOLJA

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The population of brown bear (Ursus arctos) in Slovenia forms part of the larger population in the Alps – the Dinaric Alps (Dinarides) and the Pindus Mountains. It is one of the largest populations of brown bear in Europe. The number of bears in this population is estimated at 2,100–2,500. The state of the population in Slovenia has been monitored by the Slovenia Forest Service since 1995 and is deemed to be favourable. Brown bears live in large forested areas; in Slovenia, they are present in fir and beech forests of the high karst massifs, so the brown bear population indicator indirectly reflects the status of this forest landscape, which is largely included in the Natura 2000 network


This indicator shows the status of the brown bear population in Slovenia and, indirectly, the status of the bear's habitat. It is composed of several sub-indicators: sex structure of animals taken from the wild, various reasons for taking animals from the wild, registration of damage to property caused by bears, and data gathered at permanent counting sites.

 


Charts

Figure NB06-1: Number of incidents caused by the brown bear
Sources: 
Statistical data on incidents caused by the brown bear to human assets, Slovenia Forest Service, Environmental Agency of the Republic of Slovenia (2017)
Show data

damage in EUR

incidents

1995

11795

57

1996

25621

45

1997

40580

81

1998

120653

105

1999

99825

138

2000

52638

139

2001

44240

123

2002

131377

503

2003

64922

239

2004

124129

466

2005

194866

817

2006

145160

589

2007

81866

294

2008

170679

578

2009

154314

380

2010

252497

629

2011

113703

311

2012

232339

592

2013

145066

364

2014

192206

519

2015

148344

355

2016

129544

305

Figure NB06-2: Structure of brown bears eliminated from the wild
Sources: 
Statistical data on structure of elimination from the brown bear population, Slovenia Forest Service (2017)
Show data

total

unknown

above 150 kg

from 101 to 150 kg

up to 100 kg

unknown

females

males

unknown

females

males

1995

36

0

1

6

12

17

0

2.80

33.30

63.90

1

12

23

1996

49

0

0

5

15

29

0

2

34.70

63.30

1

17

31

1997

43

0

0

2

13

28

0

0

46.50

53.50

0

20

23

1998

61

0

1

8

20

32

0

4.90

32.80

62.30

3

20

38

1999

56

0

1

11

7

37

0

1.80

33.90

64.30

1

19

36

2000

63

0

0

6

16

41

0

0

39.70

60.30

0

25

38

2001

56

0

2

7

14

33

0

3.60

35.70

60.70

2

20

34

2002

116

0

1

9

20

86

0

0.90

36.20

62.90

1

42

73

2003

72

0

0

6

13

53

0

1.40

36.10

62.50

1

26

45

2004

80

0

2

9

17

52

0

2.50

36.30

61.30

2

29

49

2005

95

0

0

4

22

69

0

0

47.40

52.60

0

45

50

2006

126

0

0

13

31

81

0

1.60

47.60

50.80

2

60

64

2007

108

0

0

15

21

72

0

0.90

44.40

54.60

1

48

59

2008

92

0

1

5

21

65

0

3.30

41.30

55.40

3

38

51

2009

85

0

1

10

19

55

0

2.40

34.10

63.50

2

29

54

2010

108

0

0

8

26

74

0

0

44.40

55.60

0

48

60

2011

64

0

0

7

13

44

0

6.30

45.30

48.40

4

29

31

2012

132

0

0

10

21

101

0

2.30

40.90

56.80

3

54

75

2013

58

0

0

6

9

43

0

8.60

44.80

46.60

5

26

27

2014

143

0

2

18

24

99

0

0.60

49.70

49.70

1

71

71

2015

116

0

0

13

23

80

0

0

38.80

61.20

0

45

71

2016

48

0

0

6

5

37

0

4.20

33.30

62.50

2

16

30

Figure NB06-3: Brown bears eliminated from the wild by reason
Sources: 
Statistical data on the structure of elimination from the brown bear population, Slovenia Forest Service (2017)
Show data

Eliminated bears - total

Kills - total

Losses

Capture

Extraordinary kills

Regular kills

1995

36

32

4

0

2

30

1996

49

43

4

2

9

34

1997

43

32

10

1

7

25

1998

61

50

11

0

8

42

1999

56

42

12

2

6

36

2000

63

45

15

3

8

37

2001

56

41

13

2

8

33

2002

116

90

23

3

25

65

2003

72

61

11

0

15

46

2004

80

60

20

0

14

46

2005

95

73

22

0

37

36

2006

126

94

27

5

18

76

2007

108

89

19

0

21

68

2008

92

75

17

0

14

61

2009

85

69

16

0

13

56

2010

108

98

10

0

5

93

2011

64

57

7

0

6

51

2012

132

100

32

0

15

85

2013

58

48

10

0

4

44

2014

143

120

23

0

11

109

2015

116

99

17

0

6

93

2016

48

31

16

1

3

28

Figure NB06-4: Spring and autumn population structure of the brown bear during the period 2004-2016
Sources: 
Statistical data on the monitoring of abundance trends and the population structure of the brown bear, Slovenia Forest Service and Slovenian Hunting Association (2017)
Show data

other bears

offspring 1+

offsprnig 0+

female bears with offspring 1+

female bears with offspring 0+

spring

46

20

16

9

9

autumn

42

11

27

5

15

Figure NB06-5: Average number of bears observed per counting point
Sources: 
Statistical data on the monitoring of abundance trends and the population structure of the brown bear, Slovenia Forest Service and Slovenian Hunting Association (2017)
Show data

total

autumn

spring

2004

0.84

0.80

0.87

2005

1.16

1.15

1.17

2006

1.03

0.95

0.98

2007

0.71

0.46

0.96

2008

1.09

1.22

0.94

2009

0.95

0.82

1.08

2010

1.09

1.23

0.95

2011

0.76

0.51

1

2012

1.13

1.17

1.09

2013

1.06

1.02

1.11

2014

1.42

1.49

1.35

2015

1.20

1.14

1.26

2016

1.05

1

1.10


Goals

To maintain a favourable state of the brown bear population and to reduce conflicts.


The brown bear (Ursus arctos) population in Slovenia forms part of a population living in the Alps-Dinarides-Pindus mountain range area and constitutes one of the largest populations in Europe. Its abundance is estimated at roughly 2,100–2,500 animals. Based on the monitoring of the population, the Slovenia Forest Service estimates that the population in Slovenia is in a favourable state.

The brown bear is included on the Red List of threatened animal species and is classified in category E (endangered species). It is protected by Slovenian, European and international legislation, which specifies the obligation to monitor the conservation state of species with special attention paid to priority species. The brown bear has been defined as a priority species.

Slovenia has been monitoring the state of the bear population since 2003 on the basis of regular brown bear counting within a network of permanent counting sites (3 times per year at 167 points) during the full moon and on the basis of recorded signs of a brown bear's presence in special purpose hunting grounds. The gathered data is slightly different when compared to previous reports due to a change in the methodology and better availability of more accurate data from counting sites. The average number of bears observed per counting site increased between 2004 and 2005, whereupon it began to fall, only to start rising again in 2008. In 2009 and 2010 the number remained more or less unchanged, while in 2011 it dropped considerably. In 2012, the number was similar to in 2009 and 2010. The number of observed bears in the period 2004–2015 was the lowest in 2007, while in 2014 it was the highest. The period in which this indicator was monitored was too short to allow a trend for the brown bear population in Slovenia to be determined. Sex and age structure established during the spring and autumn counting shows that, in autumn, the Slovenian brown bear population comprises of at least 15% female bears, which, on average, maintain 1.86 cubs up to 1 year of age. During the same period, cubs up to one year of age account for 28% and offspring in the second life period, for 11% of the entire population (in total, offspring thus represent 39% of the whole population).

In a study of brown bears conducted by the Biotechnical Faculty, demographic characteristics and causes of mortality were analysed for 1120 brown bears taken from the wild during the period 1998–2010. Reconstruction of the population dynamics showed that culling of bears in Slovenia was probably not sustainable in the past, but the population remained stable due to a permanent influx of animals from Croatia, where culling was less intensive. The population increased during the period 1998–2006, while it dropped slightly in the following year. Over the last four years, the population in Slovenia has probably been stable and culling has become sustainable. According to the study, the expected number for 2012 (taking into account the planned taking of animals from the wild for the year 2011/2012) is estimated at approximately 440 bears. According to molecular genetics research conducted by the Biotechnical Faculty, there were 354 different bears (159 males and 195 females) in the Slovenian part of the population at the end of 2007. On the basis of the aforementioned data, using the method of modelling the catch, marking and recapture for the entire brown bear range, an estimate of their number was made, ranging between 394 and 475 brown bears (at a confidence level of 95%).

Damage caused to human property by the brown bear is determined by authorised damage inspectors, i.e. the Slovenia Forest Service staff. Data have been recorded since 1995. During this period, the system of damage monitoring and payment of compensations has been altered a few times. The sub-indicator is therefore not necessarily directly linked to the abundance of the brown bear population. Since 2005, when the Ministry responsible for nature conservation took over the payment of compensations, it has been carried out in accordance with a common methodology.

Management of the brown bear population is based on the Strategy for the management of brown bear (Ursus arctos) in Slovenia, which was adopted by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia in January 2002, and the Action plan for the management of brown bear (Ursus arctos) in the Republic of Slovenia, which derives from the aforementioned strategy. In the Strategy, animal taking from the wild, as one of the management measures, is divided into: culling of a certain number of bears to ensure coexistence with humans, extraordinary culling of bears posing a direct threat to humans and their property, capture of living bears for resettlement in nature or relocation to another place in nature, capture of lone cubs or injured animals as well as losses due to road accidents or any other cause of death. Data on taking bears from the wild have been kept by the Slovenia Forest Service since 1995. The trend of taking brown bears from the population was rising in the period 1995–2015. Regular culling represents on average 66.3%, extraordinary culling 14.3%, losses 18.4% and other reasons 2% of cases of taking brown bears from the wild. In the period 1995–2008, 57% of bears taken from the population were males and 41% were females. Such a ratio implies a deviation from the natural sex structure as the ratio at birth is normally 1:1, and contributes to a higher natality of the population.

 

 



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