Brown bear declared species of Community interest in Buzau County highlands

The brown bear, some 150 of which are housed by two natural areas of Buzaului Mountains, Penteleu and Siriu, has been declared species of Community interest and it will be protected by the curator of the two areas, the Buzau County Council.

‘The Buzau County Council, as curator of the Penteleu and Siriu protected areas, has pledged responsibility for providing adequate measures to maintain or improve the conservation state of habitats and species. The Brown bear, Ursus arctos, is one of the species of Community interest,’ Chairman of the Buzau County Council Cristi Bigiu told a press conference.

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In order to protect the brown bear population inside the protected areas, estimated at 70-100 in Penteleu and at 30-80 in Siriu, hunting has been prohibited and all development plans or projects entailing the sites are subject to adequate evaluation.

‘No building permits will be issued on the passages of the bears in the vicinity of inhabited areas and no deforestation will be allowed in the areas around the bear’s dens. Both situations could disturb the habitat of the species, and that is why careful monitoring is needed to identify such areas as well as the problem cases requiring additional conservation measures. Monitoring is performed using two different yet complementary monitoring techniques: GPS tracking and camera tracking,’ said Bigiu.

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The brown bear lives along the Carpathian arc, particularly among rocks where it can build a den. A strong animal, it can walk 150 km a day. It relies heavily on hearing and smell. As of December 2010, there were 6,000 brown bears in Romania, meaning 40 per cent of the entire European Union population.

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