Within Europe’s critical truly remaining wilderness quiet lives among the planet’s most captivating creatures - Romanian Brown bears (Ursus arctos). A series of attacks in current years has actually provoked a movement against this emblematic types to safeguard human being settlements in the Carpathian Mountains. Supporters of this movement case increasing bear populations are the cause, however, scientific research disputes this and leads united state to think about human encroachment of the brown bear’s habitat together the root reason of the conflict.

Read top top to uncover out why a healthy populace of Romanian Brown bears is crucial for the ecosystem (including humans) and also what is being excellent to resolve this problem.

You are watching: How many brown bears are there in the world

The Loveable Beast

Few animals capture the creativity quite choose European brown bears. They deserve to stand on two legs, go on the soles of their feet, pick points up with their “fingers,” and also often eat what we eat. This, coupled through their ability to connect with one another through scrape marks left top top trees, smells and also sounds, develops a similarity come our own method of life.

European brown bears have the right to reach towering sizes of simply over 7ft (2.20m) weighing between 100-350kg, although castle are smaller than north American ‘big browns’ ~ above the Alaskan coast, that can prosper up to 8ft tall and 540kg! regardless of being Europe’s biggest carnivore, they are exceptionally fast and can operation at speed of 30mph (48.2kph) in addition to being good tree climbers. Being the most widely dispersed bear in the world, proves this unique species is opportunistic and also adapts come its environment.

A european brown be afflicted with strolls across a woodland path in a habitat that would not be the same without them.

The Romanian Brown Bear's Habitat

Romania is house to 60% the Europe's brown bears. Over there are believed to be over 200,000 brown bear in the world, that which 6,000 of them roam Romania’s forests in the Carpathian mountains - the largest population of bear in Europe. However, part research has questioned the validity that this estimation and also believe the really number can be roughly 4,350. Romania's brown bears space mostly found in hill woodlands, together they require locations with thick, thick cover in i beg your pardon to shelter by day. This woodlands administer a safe haven for brown bear to collection up dens far from human being activity. Other landscapes brown bears room attracted to in Romania incorporate wood pastures (such as grazed grasslands) to feeding on fruit trees and shrubs, and also larvae native anthills. Human impact in the develops of intensified agriculture and soil abandonment space threatening this habitat for bears and also many other species that depend on it.

Due to the growth of person presence in Romania, brown bears have retreated come finding dens at higher altitudes.

What do brown bear eat?

Their diet varies relying on the season and includes grass, roots, berries, apples and also nuts, plums, and insects, carrion, and mammals and, that course, honey. Brown bears usually forage in the morning and also evening, and also rest under dense vegetation throughout the day.

The modern day brown bear's diet is greatly vegetarian in spite of claiming the location of Europe's largest carnivore.

When execute brown bear in Romania hibernate and also mate?

Bears hibernate from autumn to late spring in a burrow, one of two people on a sheltered steep under a big stone or amongst the roots of a huge tree. Brown bears mate from may to July, through the birth of cubs commonly while the mrs is quiet in hibernation native January to March. The cubs continue to be with she until two or 3 years old.

Like humans, young cubs are heavily dependant ~ above their mothers in the early years that life.

Are brown bears dangerous?

In short, yes bears can be dangerous, however it need to be proclaimed they instinctively protect against humans and also only assault if they feel threaten. Brown bears do not prey on humans, castle are normally wary that us, therefore encounters are rare. If you ever visit an area lived in by bear it is vitally essential you learn and respect your behaviours. For instance, a be afflicted with standing tall on that hind legs indicates curiosity the its surroundings and also not a hazard of attack. Therefore, avoid surprising and distressing bears by make your existence felt calmly, bear in mental (no pun intended), they have bad eyesight so speak softly and remaining patience is advised.

The majority of assaults come native protective woman brown bears whilst with their young.

Take action now

Do you want to have actually a direct influence on climate change? teacher David Attenborough said the ideal thing we have the right to do is to rewild the planet. So we operation reforestation and also rewilding programs across the world to restore wild ecosystems and capture carbon.

Get involved

Why should we protect brown bears?

A Keystone Species

Healthy be affected by each other numbers are a sign of a healthy, abundant forest environment, wealthy in herbs, mushrooms, woodland fruits and wild animals. Provided their dependency on these huge natural areas, brown bear are important management indications for a variety of other wildlife species. Brown bears additionally play crucial roles as predators who save other pet populations in check, culling the weak and also cleaning increase dead pet carcasses, which would certainly otherwise spread an illness in the forest. Additionally, castle act together seed dispersers, roaming large territories and also thus scattering undigested plant seeds all over.

Bears play vital role in culling the weak and also cleaning up dead animal carcasses.

Threats - Habitat Loss

Romania's brown bears have fallen prey to poaching, ns of habitat as result of illegal logging and other problems with rural neighborhoods who see them as a pest. Illegal logging is not just guilty of damaging the bear habitat but sends bears away from the forests because of the noise. In addition to deforestation, the development of human being settlements, agricultural land and transportation framework in the Carpathian Mountains have actually all added to the transforming behaviours and movements the Romania’s brown be affected by each other population.

A clear cut area spanned in old tree trunks and debris. Such clear cuts room driving Romania's brown bears out of the forests and into villages.

Threats - Human and Bear Conflict

In search of food bears often finish up in locations closer to towns or various other populated areas where a whole range of attractants exist – orchards, livestock, garbage, and agricultural products. Though bears room a protected species by international and Romanian laws, bears have the right to be hunted, by method of a warrant. If a bear has been viewed to reason serious damage or pose together a hazard to human populations, a warrant might be issued. While this may seem favor a reasonable situation, a bear straying native the mountains is easily labelled as dangerous by the trophy searching sector usually, as huge money can come the end of death it. That is reported the around 1,400 bears have actually been killed by trophy hunters due to the fact that hunting to be banned in Romania in 2016.

Despite the ban on trophy searching in Romania, brown bears are still being eliminated in large numbers.

Threats - negative Press and also Political Exacerbation

The 3 fatal attacks that arisen between October and November 2019 hit the headlines hard and have due to the fact that whipped up a frenzy of an adverse media attention for brown bear in the region. Instead of giving objective accounts of attacks or actively engaging in preventative plot such as educating the public on security measures, media reports stoke the fire of fear for neighborhood people. This, in addition to inaction indigenous the government, prompted some villagers to take it matters into their very own hands by preparing homemade poisons. A examine released in the journal Nature on big carnivore assaults discovered brown bears receive the many media coverage worldwide, even if they’re no the most typical attacks. Most of these incidents came indigenous encounters v female bears and her cubs. That is, therefore, clean to see exactly how the mainstream media has illustrated the instance unfavourably for bears, one i m sorry is compounded through some local politicians that have claimed war ~ above ‘problem bears’. Some of Romania’s ar leaders, who are spearheading the movement to reinstate the culling of bears, say populaces are growing exponentially, a insurance claim disputed commonly by Romanian scientists.

Attacks by huge carnivores draw mass media attention, subsequently impacting publicly perception greatly.

The Solutions

1. Reforestation

By protecting and also regenerating the Romanian brown bear’s natural habitat – forests, we can minimise the need for bears to forage closer to inhabited areas together their organic food sources come to be abundant. Reforestation efforts aid create new habitats and also corridors for various other important types too, that are vital for a well balanced food chain.

Saplings, such together this one planted in our reforestation project in the southern Carpathians, will certainly rebuild areas of the old-growth forests and restore a habitat for brown bears.

2. Education and also Effective management Strategies

As formerly mentioned, informing the general public on just how to protect against and, if needed, act throughout confrontations through brown bears is paramount to enhancing coexistence. This includes far better management the attractants because that bears: making garbage inaccessible; protecting livestock making use of dogs; and also placing farming products within electric fences, to name a few potential solutions. Several NGOs room urgently functioning to provide support come local people as the government frustrates those concerned. One effective initiative set up through Carpathian european Wilderness to make reservation replaces livestock that farmers shed to bear which addresses the ache slow administrative state process.

Scientific study should also be in ~ the forefront of plan making and also management strategies. One such example where research findings have actually contradicted existing techniques is the situation of relocating bears by way of luring them come food sources then trapping and also relocating. Empirical proof strongly recommends stopping the feeding of bears as as soon as they space ‘food-conditioned’, lock are more likely to return.

Further study that brings to light people’s consciousness of coexistence uncovered that factors such as regarded risk of conflict and also perceived bear populace growth had actually the best influence. The same study also concludes long-term coexistence will certainly be much better achieved in civilization with confident attitudes and also values towards nature. Thus, this stresses the power the media possesses and also the prestige of education in producing successful coexistence and also conservation outcomes.

3. Nature-Based travel

With wildlife travel slowly arising into critical source of earnings for neighborhoods living in the southerly Carpathians, it has far-ranging potential for boosting public acceptance of the species. For example, a be afflicted with watching hide set up by the Romanian State Forestry deserve to receive more than 1,000 visitors, generating between € 20,000 and € 30,000 of earnings annually, that is dual what the hide could earn from hunting. Travel companies such together Responsible take trip arrange bear watching holidays in Romania whereby you obtain the chance to spot this charismatic biology up close and also safely through an professional guide or volunteering at the Libearty be afflicted with Sanctuary.

Besides bringing financial value for local populations, be affected by each other watching help foster a deeper appreciation of bears in Romania's Carpathian Mountains.

4. Rewilding

Rewilding focuses on re-establishing lost elements of the wilderness and also in act so, brings earlier opportunities because that wildlife come exist sustainably. Some of the missing functionality that nature the is went back by rewilding incorporate predation, grazing, regeneration and also decomposition. Not only would Brown bears benefit from rewilding through improved habitat and food stability yet they would likewise serve the totality ecosystem in their role as a keystone species.

Rewilding allows nature resume control and in the procedure helps secure the europe brown bear's habitat.

How to contribute to Reforestation and also Rewilding of the Carpathian Mountains

To aid protect Romania’s brown bear population as fine as countless other an essential species the live in the Carpathian Mountains, here at audioeditorfree.com Earth, we collection up a reforestation and also a rewilding impact project.

1. Restoring the southern Carpathians

2. Supporting Ranger Patrols

These projects aim to gain back swathes that lifeless land previously cleared by illegal logging and also support rangers who defend the continuing to be old development forests. With our members at audioeditorfree.com Earth and also our partner on the ground, Fundatia conservation Carpathia (FCC), we have planted over 100,000 native trees and also helped rangers prevent illegal logging and poaching. FCC are additionally working difficult to education those that have to live together bears, as well as facilitating eco-tourism in this rural communities.

audioeditorfree.com planet Co-Founders Matt and also Duarte were both 'fortunate' enough to come face to challenge with brown bear in Romania’s Carpathian Mountains. Matt was shepherded under a snowy mountain trail by a female through young, when Duarte spent a rather restless night as a brown bear hounded his tent. Regardless of shaking in their boots, they were both left spell-bound by their different experiences making it every the much more meaningful to protect this incredible creature.

If you want to it is in a component of our efforts and also many more other impactful reforestation and rewilding projects, our Membership offers you the opportunity to contribute directly and also join our ar in restoring nature.

To learn much more about other rewilding object in Romania watch the short articles The Return of the europe Bison and also Tracking Eurasian Lynx.

Glossary the terms

Hibernation: Hibernation is a form of dormancy discovered in part animal species which have the right to see them go inactive. There are plenty of different reasons for hibernation together as short food supply, environmental alters or a have to conserve energy. Some animals heart rate can be reduced up to 95% as well as a much slower metabolic rate, slower breathing and also a lower body temperature. Other varieties of dormancy encompass diapause, aestivation and brumation.

Keystone Species: Coming in many forms, they space organisms whose partnership with their setting can form the whole ecosystem. If they were removed, it might lead come an ecosystem coming to be severely altered or collapsing. Instances of keystone types are birds of prey, wolves, beavers and also bees.

Reforestation: This is the planting of tree in one area, wherein trees as soon as were although they have actually either been gotten rid of or reduced. That usually focuses on the planting the local and also native trees the are most compatible through the local soils and also species. Reforestation projects can carry many benefits including restoring biodiversity, soil quality and also carbon sequestration.

See more: How Many Carrier Jobs Were Saved, Carrier Air Conditioner Move To Mexico

Wildlife Tourism: An increasingly growing and also popular area, wildlife tourism, or nature-based tourism, is giving human being a opportunity to check out wildlife, in their organic habitat. This could be going on guided walks with nature make reservation or safaris. It is additionally a powerful tool because that conservation efforts.