avatar
About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

13 Responses to Finland's Wolf Population Drops; More Bears Sighted

  1. Congratulations Ralph, you have an excellent network for news. This one certainly of interest for us here in Europe!

  2. Thank you, Peter.

    Those bears look like grizzly bears, known as the “brown bear” in Europe. Is this correct?

  3. avatar Jeff says:

    Yes, European brown bears are American grizzlies are the same species.

  4. Yes, same clan: Ursus arctos arctos (Brown bear) and Ursus arctos horribilis (Grizzly). You will not notice any difference if you face one :-)) You still find populations even here in central Europe. A few of you might rememer the sad story of JJ1 in Bavaria or the poaching of the last genetically true pyrenaean brown bear. I remember they made headlines also in the US press.

  5. avatar Jeff says:

    It frustrates me that somehow Europe, with its polulation density and centuries of development has populations of brown bears and wolves and yet somehow the American West can barely find room for either.

  6. It’s the U.S. livestock industry.

  7. There is nothing here in Europe like the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem! Nowhere such a density of different animals and in substantial numbers! Wolves, Bears, Cougars, Buffalo, you name it you got it and you are able to see them daily! I´m 53 now and have done a lot of travelling and hiking in the lesser known countries of Europe and the East. In these 53 years I only twice met a bear in the wild in Europe, one in Slovenia, far away on an opposite slope and another one in Romania (I do hire locals to take us into the woods, I do not book wildlife watching tours). Sometimes it really makes me sad when I see how natures treasures are treated in the American West!

  8. avatar Chris H. says:

    Peter,
    Do you have any links to the poaching of the last pure Pyrenees Brown Bear. I googled, got a few abastracts mostly about a 5 individual reintroduction attempt. A sad story yet pertinent perhaps to Mexican Wolf Reintroduction.

  9. Chris H. Áll I remember it was a few years ago and they introduced a few bears from Slovenia afterwards to strenghten the population. I remember the WWF had something on his webpage on the subject but it´s gone now. The most recent note I found is in a french language book about the pyrenaean bears. I´ll ask around if somebody has a link and post the results here.

  10. Chris H. contact the guys across the border in Spain, at http://www.iberianature.com/material/spainbearnews.htm
    they should be helpful and have a website in english language. As France and Spain share a common border in the Pyrenaean Alps the spanish guys are of course alert what´s going on across the border. They have the up to date status of the pyrenaena bears posted.
    There seems to be nothing in France but I´ll continue searchig!
    The poaching story itself is posten in english language at
    http://www.france24.com/en/20080421-french-hunter-cleared-over-shooting-last-pyrenees-bear

  11. avatar Chris H. says:

    Thank you very much!

  12. Motivated by our discussion about the brown bears in Europe here I thought to have a look on the progress of the Austrian Bear Project. The World Wildlife Fund hat a project running a few years ago and I monitored this project closely until it´s official end, with project goals successfully achieved. Somehow I lost track afterwards, always being confident about the well being of the small but stable bear population the project had established, monitored by a network of “ Bear Advocates”. What a shock to learn, that according to an as yet not released official report to the European Commission from spring 2008, all but two of the bears (about 30) have been lost in the meantime, most to poaching! Austria tries to raise funds out of a lottery to finance research work on the lost bears and maybe even a new project to link bear habitats with the habitats of the Slovenian bear pool (a population that itself suffers from increased hunting quota).

  13. To be fair, I just received the info, that Austria plans to obtain 3 female bears from Slovenia for the remaining male bear “Moritz” and, in a follow up step, up to 10 additional bears to strengthen the population. This time all the animals will be radio-collared. Quite interesting, I found a press release of the Austrian Radiotelevision Service on this subject and the comment section was similar to that of the famous Billings Gazette! Small world.

Calendar

Quote

‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

%d bloggers like this: