Finland's Wolf Population Drops; More Bears Sighted







  1. Peter Kiermeier Avatar

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

  2. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Thank you, Peter.

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

  3. Jeff Avatar

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

  4. Peter Kiermeier Avatar

    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. Jeff Avatar

    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. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    It’s the U.S. livestock industry.

  7. Peter Kiermeir Avatar

    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. Chris H. Avatar
    Chris H.

    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. Peter Kiermeir Avatar

    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. Peter Kiermeir Avatar

    Chris H. contact the guys across the border in Spain, at
    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

  11. Chris H. Avatar
    Chris H.

    Thank you very much!

  12. Peter Kiermeier Avatar

    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. Peter Kiermeier Avatar

    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.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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