Brown bears in Albania

Status of brown bears in Albania

  • The bear populations in Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are of significant biological and genetic value because they form the connecting populations between the brown bear populations in Croatia and Slovenia in the North and the endangered brown bear population of Greece. Data on the numbers and distribution of these populations are therefore of paramount importance for the conservation of the bear population in South-East Europe.
  • In Albania, the current estimation of the bear population is about 250 individuals; the species has been steadily declining in the last 20 years, and the current population size estimate is the lowest ever. The species is legally protected in Albania however, there is no management plan or are implementing a national strategy for the conservation of the species and bear populations in both countries are not being systematically monitored. Consequently, there is a serious lack of information on their general status and distribution, and the population numbers mentioned above are merely an educated guesses.
  • There is evidence suggesting that the practice of “dancing bears” still persists in Albania.

Video about Greek bears

The mountains of Greece once teemed with wild bears. Now, only a few hundred remain. However, one Greek tycoon is determined to help them avoid extinction.

Introduction of new techniques for reducing conflicts between humans and brown bears in Albania

The NGO “Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania” (PPNEA) has made several surveys concerning wildlife in Albania, some of them aiming at the evaluation of existing and potential conflicts between humans and large carnivores. There are plenty of recordings that confirm damages caused by brown bear to agriculture and livestock. Brown bear is mainly reported to be responsible for damages on crops (corn, maize), fruit trees, vegetable gardens, beehives and, to a lesser extent, livestock

Bears: status survey and conservation action plan