Brown bears in France

The population of brown bears in the Pyrenees has “stabilised” at 20 individuals, of which only two (old) males and one cub belong to the autocthonous “group of Pyrenean bears. The remaining bears are those introduced from Eastern Europe in 1996, 1997 and 2006, or are cubs of these animals.

A 2009 French study has shown that at least 13 bears should be released in the Pyrenees in the near future if the species has any chance of becoming viable. France has asked the Spanish government for Cantabrian bears to help repopulate the Pyrenees, where less than 20 animals survive. Given the fragile state of the Cantabrian population this is unlikely to be agreed.

In 1960 the last bear steak offered in restaurant in French Pyrenees. Bear hunting was finally banned in France in 1976.

See also full archive of bears in Spain

France wants Cantabrian bears for Pyrenees

French Pyrenees: bad news bears

Popular with conservationists, Parisians and France’s first lady, brown bears have been reintroduced to the Pyrenees and infuriated sheep farmers

See also

Wolf watching tours in the Mercantour National Park. Ideal for a long weekend trip from Nice. Read more

Brown bears sent to Pyrenees amid fears over dwindling population