The Depana association has published a video this Friday of a female Pyrenean brown bear with two cubs in Vall d’Aran (Lleida). In a statement they celebrate that, “despite everything”, this species, “the most threatened in the Pyrenees”, recovers little by little every year.
Depana is a non-profit Catalan entity that acts for the defense, study and conservation of natural heritage, while promoting the globalizing conception of the problems that affect species and ecosystems. It was declared of Public Utility in 1979.
A team from the association has captured a family group consuming blueberries in the mountainous area. The images were taken a kilometer away, Depana details. They report that in 2023 various bears like the one in the video have been reproduced “successfully”. In total, they estimate that about 70 brown bears reside in the High Pyrenees, most of them descendants of Slovenia except for Canelito (son of the native Pyrenean bear Canela and the male Nere). In 2021 they found eight females that fathered 15 cubs. In total they estimate that there are 32 males, 34 females and four of “indeterminate sex”.
Until 2023, four releases have been made in the Pyrenees that were “essential” to avoid the definitive extinction of the species. The progressively larger population of brown bears moves over an area of more than 8,000 square kilometers along the mountain.
“During the summer, the bears leave the forests where they take refuge to find food in the alpine areas” full of this fruit, which is “one of the favorite foods at this time,” they mention in the document.
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The brown bear, “treasure” of the Pyrenees
Depana emphasizes that the conservation of the brown bear is one of its “priorities” as it is a species “of priority protection” in the guidelines of the European Union. In addition to monitoring and surveillance of these animals, they carry out various informative activities about these mammals. “The brown bear is a symbol of highly conserved nature, and it has a very important function as a bioindicator, that is, by conserving the bear we protect the rest of the fauna and flora of the Pyrenees,” he indicates on the website. The point is that this “umbrella” species needs large tracts of well-preserved nature, they argue.
The Alt Pyrenees Natural Park, with 69,000 hectares, was declared so 20 years ago by a proposal from Depana and the Catalonian excursion center. This protected area is one of two areas where brown bears mate. But the association works to create new zones, as well as expand the current ones. They have also planted 7,000 fruit trees from 2020 to 2022 to improve the availability of food for these Pyrenean bears, thanks to the Oso Pardo Foundation. From 1998 to 2011 they developed another informative program: “Pirineo Viu”, which raised awareness of the value of native fauna and flora to the school population, highlighting other protected species such as the white partridge, otter or capercaillie.
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