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The Opportunist

 “Your strongest quality is often your greatest weakness”. This saying is often heard and very often true. This also counts for the mighty bear! The strongest quality of the bear to survive, and the main reason why bears are so successful is their opportunistic character. Led by his extraordinary sense of smell bears use every opportunity to feed. No matter how small the food source or what it is bears will find and eat it. This, among other qualities, makes them one of nature’s extreme survivors! A brown bear can smell a foods source from 4 km distance and sometimes more. When bears find a regular food source they will remember the exact spot easily and will return there time after time.
We already know that his opportunistic character and his super sensitive nose bring bears into human residential areas resulting into conflicts. The surviving skills of bears make them successful, but also bring them problems. Conservationists and wildlife managers also take advantage of these bear skills: by creating feeding stations in the wilderness one can collect valuable information by photographing bears or to put a GPS collar on them. Thanks to this information we’ve gained knowledge about bears, their behavior and population status.

From September 15 untill December 31 the Romanian Carpathian region hosts the yearly 'legal' bear hunting season. From the total estimated number of bears in Romania (estimated about 4000), 2% to 8% will be shot, in some areas even up to 10%. Since the Governmental published population numbers (7000) is far from accurate,  thus not realistic, one does not have to be a mathematician to conclude what effect this has on the population. The reasons of the high inaccurate pronounced number of bears are for the commercial and economical benefits of the Romanian government.

Bear hunting is almost always done from a hunting stand close to a feeding station. The bears come to eat the easy food and they are shot from the stands. So there you have it: its extreme survival skills are also his weakness, in this case even fatal.

Canine Efficiency's predator-human conflict prevention work shows that coexistence is well possible! A set of good measures prevent conflicts. All our activities serve: The protection of the European brown bear and its habitat!

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