Brown bears in Turkey

The brown bear (Ursus arctos) is the largest carnivore in Turkey.  Its present distribution is mainly confined to the intact natural habitats of the Black Sea and Eastern Anatolian regions. Forest fragmentation and direct persecution by humans have resulted in population declines in other regions during the last 50 years.

In general, brown bears do not have as bad an image as the wolf has in Turkey, and the general feeling about bears among local people, including forestry personnel, is positive. Villagers live in dispersed locations in Turkish forests, especially in the eastern Black Sea region, which leads to bear–human conflicts. Most reports of livestock killing by brown bears come from central Anatolia, but depredation due to livestock being unguarded is infrequent.

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The brown bear (Ursus arctos) is the largest carnivore in Turkey and has been legally protected since 2003. However, increasing levels of conflict between brown bears and humans have been reported for several regions, especially for Artvin in northeastern Turkey. More here

Protecting bears in Turkey is a sweet success

WSPA have stepped in to show the honey farmers a variety of ways to bear-proof their hives such as placing steel sheets around the trunks of tress to stop the bears climbing up.
Before the pilot project – a joint initiative with WSPA member society Doga Dernegi – hundreds of bears were being killed as they searched for farmed honey. These European brown bears are a protected species and there are only around 3,000 still living wild in Turkey.

Last dance for Turkey’s bears

In the past, bear cubs were stolen to be trained as dancing bears.Then as adults they would be made to perform for tourists a grotesque spectacle that many thought could never be stopped. But it has.The Wildlife Rescue Centre, Bursa,Turkey is a sanctuary full of contented animals in a country now officially empty of dancing bears, a true success story for animal welfare. Also see video

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