Nobody can escape that conservation of large carnivore populations on densely populated territories poses great challenges. Challenges that in the case of the brown bear often concern the people’s survival instinct of the countryside that, often with all the reason in the world, see their survival (already precarious in itself) threatened by the presence of the carnivore. So it is not an easy task. However, in the Cantabrian mountain range it has been achieved.
It has been very difficult to get here. It was almost a miracle to rescue the brown bear from the gates of extinction to a stable population in these mountains so inhabited and with so much economic activity. It is something that few of us dared to dream of in the eighties when, with just fifty of them surviving in freedom, we were about to lose the species forever.
The recovery of the brown bear is an example of how much can be achieved thanks to teamwork and the collaboration of all
Have been about years of hard work, of great personal efforts. It has been necessary to allocate many economic resources, many days of monitoring in the forest and raising awareness in schools and cultural centers of the towns. To disclose its high ecological value from the media, to defend their existence in the offices of politicians.
Many kilometers in tow touring the villages to talk to the neighbors, going to the fairs to talk with livestock unions, with hunting federations. And that huge and arduous diplomatic and naturalistic work has had a main protagonist: the Brown Bear Foundation (FOP)
Now this conservation NGO presents the book ‘Cantabrian bears. Demography, coexistence and conservation challenges’, in which it offers, with the maximum technical rigor and from different perspectives, the latest information on the brown bear situation in the Cantabrian Mountains. A success story achieved after years of intense field work and thanks to the collaboration of local communities. Because without them, without the contribution and the sacrifice of its people, the brown bear would have disappeared from these mountains.
The work, which Planet A readers can download for free In the link that we offer at the bottom of this chronicle, it offers a detailed review of the fundamental topics related to the species: latest census data with the most recent work methodologies, a verified evaluation of the damages to the different economic sectors and their increasing value as an economic resource for rural communities.
The book also offers a analysis of social perception of this emblem of the Iberian fauna and of the great landmark that has been its conservation in our country. It also accounts for the new management challenges that open to the scenarios of profound transformation of the rural environment, increased recreational use of nature and especially climate change.
The texts are accompanied by a image selection that illustrate the topics addressed. All the photographs of bears have been taken in the wild in the Cantabrian mountain range by using equipment with long focal lengths and sufficient distance to avoid any kind of nuisance to the species.
With the free edition of this book the Brown Bear Foundation wants contribute to conservation of a species that is recovering, although not yet enough to be no longer at risk. In order to Guillermo Palomero, president of the FOP, “we hope that with the development of adequate policies and the maintenance of the social acceptance that the bear has reached throughout the Cordillera, which is exemplary, Let’s achieve the dream of leaving the endangered category“.
Carlos de Hita
For Palomero “this book meets our permanent commitment to society to clearly convey all the information and knowledge generated in the performance of our work. “Likewise,” we believe that can serve administrations to apply the parts of the methodology that they consider appropriate to the management of other stocks “, such as the one located in the pyrenees, from more than 60 copies.
The publishers of the book are: Guillermo Palomero, President of the FOP, Fernando Ballesteros, Biologist in charge of FOP projects, Juan Carlos Blanco, doctor of biology specializing in large carnivores and José Vicente López-Bao, doctor in biology and researcher of the Oviedo University, and among its authors are scientists from various Spanish universities and research centers. The book is prefaced by Hugo Moran, Secretary of State for the Environment, and has received funding from the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge for its elaboration.
* The book is published in Spanish and English under a Creative Commons license, which allows the free exchange, copying or redistribution of this material by any means or format, provided that the appropriate attribution of authorship is made.