The Slovenian authorities have agreed to kill 93 brown bears( Ursus arctos) and 8 wolfs (Canis lupus) in the months to come. These hunting actions should prevent damages due to a too high population of large carnivores. Over 50% of the surface of Slovenia is covered with forests, being a good habitat for bears and other carnivores. The Slovenian large carnivore population are living close to farmhouses and they damage livestock and orchards. Therefore the Slovenian authorities are keeping strict to the agreed management plan for large carnivores. Last year (2015) 83 bears and 4 wolves were killed legally.
Since 2006 Slovenian institutions have agreed to come to a National management Plan for large carnivores. Hunters, farmers, scientists, conservationists and the national authorities have agreed to a maximum number of bears and wolf and based on the numbers counted hunting permits are allowed.
Due to population pressure mostly young male bears are moving from Slovenia to neighbouring countries. The Italian Alps are housing already quite a number of bears. The bears reintroduced in the Pyrenees (1996, 2006 and 2016) originated from Slovenia.
The LMCP set up a decade ago has been accepted as a role model for many countries in the region. Similar plans are adopted in Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania. In other countries like Sweden and Norway management plans are used strictly to “manage” their populations of large carnivores.
Gerard Baars, International Bear Foundation
Source of map:
Gozd in gozdarstvo Slovenije / Slovenian forests and forestry / Wälder und Forstwirtschaft Sloweniens / Forêts et foresterie en Slovénie. Report: 1-39. 2004. Ljubljana, Association of Slovenian Forest Societies, in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food of the Republic of Slovenia, and the Slovenian Forest Service.