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ARCPIN Project Protects Bears in Grevena

bear human grevenaIn October 2013, a series of actions will start being implemented in the Municipality of Grevena, a mainly mountainous and agricultural area located within the administrative region of Western Macedonia, Greece, for two years, in the framework of the ARCPIN project.
The project in question, fully entitled as LIFE ARCPIN – Conservation actions for improving conditions for the co-existence of humans and bears in Northern Pindos, is funded by Life, EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental and nature conservation projects throughout the EU.
In an effort to conciliate bears with humans and to protect wildlife around settlements in Grevena, where big animals approach, special bins bears approach will be placed and a sufficient number of fences will be set so that damages to  beehives and cultivations will be averted.
Special collars will be put on the animals so that their movements and behavior can be observed at any moment.
The project in question was subjected, with the initiative of the Municipality of Grevena, in collaboration with the Regional Development Agency of Grevena, Callisto Wildlife and Nature Conservation Society, Greece Management Agency of Vikos-Aoos and Pindos National Parks, all in Greece.
The total budget is at €1.582.160 and is funded at 75 percent directly by the European Union. The remaining 25 percent is national participation, which can be covered by funds of the Green Fund.
The project will target the Dinara-Pindos sub-population of the brown bear (Ursus arctos), which is the third largest brown bear population in the EU, as well as the southernmost distribution of the species in Europe. The bear population in the project area (the Northern Pindos national park and the municipality of Grevena) is an estimated 140 individuals, representing some 35% of the total brown bear population in Greece, as reported on the project’s website.
Among ARCPIN project’s goals are: To maintain human caused mortality at a sustainable level in the project area, to maintain the number of annual reproductive females at no less than 10-12% of the minimum estimated bear population in the targeted areas.
The project also aims at improving the conservation status of the species in terms of population levels and trends, by achieving a sustainable human-bear co-existence status through the minimization of bear-human interference and subsequent conflicts that are detrimental to the species, as reported on the website.

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