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LIFE08NAT/RO/000500 – LIFEURSUS

Risk Assessment Team Activity report on LIFE08/NAT/RO/000500 project March 2010 – December 2010

Responsible for the action: EPA Covasna Authors of the report: Ioan Mihai Pop, Szabo Szilard, Radu Mihai Sandu December 2010


Unitatea de implementare a proiectului LIFE08/NAT/RO/000500 - LIFEURSUS Introduction RAT is a mobile team alike ARMU but activity differ from beginning with the objectives. RAT has an obligation to collaborate with public institutions and stakeholders from local and national level, in order to correct substantiation of decisions to solve problems created by human/bear coexistence. RAT working for several days on the same site, taking the role of observer and evaluator. RAT facilities are designed to monitoring and evaluation of a particular area and a particular situation. Through methodology established, RAT is the team who propose to the authorities responsible for local species management, the optimum solution in case of a conflict situations, by imposing the expertise of members. In the absence of correctly substantiated decisions based on a wider evaluation of the context and monitoring the individual, there is a tendency to get exceptions to the species protection status, the "problem" bear being most often killed. RAT objectives being targeted to eliminate human-bear conflicts. Given the magnitude of the conflicts generated by coexistence of more than 2000 bears in humanized habitats from the project area, it can be said that maintaining a favourable conservation status of this species can be ensured and if the conflict level decreases and the number of bears killed by the exemption is reduced by choosing alternative solutions. Value added of the RAT is therefore in numerical maintaining the brown bears population in the project area by reducing the number of bears killed due to increased damage levels, habituation or hunters interest for this species. The team named in the followings Risk Assessment Team (RAT), is formed by the members of the project’s working group or persons who activate in the frame of the project as technical experts. The up mentioned members have a permanently character and beside these will join from case to case represents of the local public authority and local game management districts.

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Unitatea de implementare a proiectului LIFE08/NAT/RO/000500 - LIFEURSUS Working algorithm

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Unitatea de implementare a proiectului LIFE08/NAT/RO/000500 - LIFEURSUS Results of the RAT activity Map of the assessed conflicts in the project area:

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Unitatea de implementare a proiectului LIFE08/NAT/RO/000500 - LIFEURSUS Conflict situation assessed by RAT The RAT Team members have participated and evaluated, on the field, all damages officially recorded at the beneficiary Environmental Protection Agencies, in the year 2010. From all the conflicts/damages only 20 were considered to be of importance for RAT Team (annex 1). The distribution of cases, at the county level, on the project area is presented in the following table and graphic: County Vrancea Covasna Harghita total

No. of cases 2 7 11 20 RAT cases 11%

Vrancea

50%

Covasna Harghita

39%

Solution proposed by RAT According to the developed methodology for each case the team has to propose a solution to mitigate the conflict. The proposed solutions are presented in the following table, according to the level of the proposed measures:

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Unitatea de implementare a proiectului LIFE08/NAT/RO/000500 - LIFEURSUS Solution

No. of cases analyzed

No intervention/monitoring Preventive measures Relocation of bear Removal of bear

9 5 5 1

No. of conflicts with RAT solution implemented 9 5 2 1

For each analyzed case, we made a proposal to the stakeholders in the base of the risk assessment methodology. Depending on the results and gravity of the situation the proposal was transmitted to the farmer, mayor, game unit manager, ministry or other relevant organization. On all the cases there were a post implementation monitoring period. RAT implemented solution 7%

13%

40%

40%

No intervention/monitoring

Preventive measures

Relocation of bear

Removal of bear

Three of five relocation solutions were impossible to put into practice because the bear has leaved the area during the preparation of the capturing action. For the captured bear we used GPS collars from project partners Association for Conserving Natural Values (ACNV).

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Unitatea de implementare a proiectului LIFE08/NAT/RO/000500 - LIFEURSUS On the case with removal proposal the decision was taken due to the fact that the bear has entering several times into the houses. The removed bear was a female with one cub. After the removal of the female the cub was taken into the rehabilitation centre from Balan, Harghita County (ACNV Rehabilitation Centre for orphan bear cubs). For all the relocation and removal situations, the implementation was conducted after the approval of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, according to the national laws. At the end of the 2010, 19 cases were closed, excepting Baile Tusnad situation developed around garbage bears. In 8 cases on which the project team has been involved in providing equipment/tools or technical advising, capturing and relocating the bear or proposing the removal of the bear from population, the conflicts were mitigated after a few days after we were informed. In the 11 cases during the monitoring period no damages occurred in the villages until the reporting date, the incident being considered as accidents. All the analyzed situation are resumed in the annex 2. Conclusion after the first season: 1. For the following period is seems necessary to improve the methodology, with the purpose of reducing the number of forms and to establish some repellent measures necessary to improve the public opinion about the RAT intervention. The changes will be made after another season of implementation of the action, in order to validate the results from the first year. 2. It is of high importance to keep the panic created by the presence of a bear into the village/city as much as lower it is possible. 3. The RAT proposals are not the perfect solution, but there are useful to teach people to protect themselves.

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Unitatea de implementare a proiectului LIFE08/NAT/RO/000500 - LIFEURSUS Annex 1 – Cases analyzed by RAT Team and proposed solution Nr. crt

Jud.

Localitate

Data la care s-a primit sesizarea

Adresa unde s-a produs incidentul

Nr. Dosar

1 CV

Bretcu

11.06.2010

UM01534

CV/Bretcu/001/11.06.2010

2 CV 3 CV

Balvanyos Bodoc

16.06.2010 19.06.2010

Balvanyos Bodoc

CV/Balvanyos/001/25.06.2010 CV/Bodoc/001/19.06.2010

4 CV 5 CV 6 CV

Arcus Filia Malnas

20.06.2010 21.06.2010 28.06.2010

Arcus Filia Malnas

CV/Arcus/001/20.06.2010 CV/Filia/001/23.06.2010 CV/Malnas/001/28.06.2010

7 CV 8 VN 9 VN

Bixad Vintileasca Lepsa

12.08.2010 Bixad 622 22.01.2010 Vintileasca 15.08.2010 Lepsa

CV/Bixad/001/12.08.2010 VN/Vintileasca/001/22.01.2010 VN/Lepsa/001/15.08.2010

10 HR

Balan

HR/Balan/001/22.04.2010

11 HR

Lunca de jos

20.04.2010 Balan, Fierarilor 34 30.06.2010 Valea intunecoasa

12 HR 13 HR

Baile Tusnad Gheorgheni

HR/Baile Tusnad/001/06.07.2010 HR/Gheorgheni/001/28.07.2010

14 HR 15 HR 16 HR

Ghipes Lupeni Danesti

6.07.2010 Baile Tusnad 28.07.2010 Gheorgheni, str. Libertatii 05.08.2010 Ghipes 10.08.2010 Lupeni 11.08.2010 Danesti

17 HR 18 HR

Vlahita Suseni

16.08.2010 Vlahita 5.09.2010 Suseni 462

HR/Vlahita/001/17.08.2010 HR/Suseni/001/07.09.2010

19 HR

Subcetate

HR/Subcetate/001/10.09.2010

20 HR

Ulcani

9.09.2010 Subcetate 200 26.09.2010 Ulcani 160

HR/Lunca de jos/001/01.07.2010

HR/Ghipes/001/05.08.2010 HR/Lupeni/001/10.08.2010 HR/Danesti/001/12.08.2010

HR/Ulcani/001/28.09.2010

No intervention/monitoring Preventive measures Relocation of bear Removal of bear

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Unitatea de implementare a proiectului LIFE08/NAT/RO/000500 - LIFEURSUS

Annex 2 – Resume of the situation analyzed by RAT Team RAT Case : Cv/Bretcu/001/11.06.2010 County: Covasna

Village/City: Bretcu

Location: Military Unit

RAT Members: Pop Ioan Mihai, Matei Liviu Description of the problem: The Military Unit has over 100 hectares partially cover with forests. The personal have notice the presence of one bear female with one cub inside this forested area. No aggressive behaviour was register, and no person was injured. Monitoring results: The presence of the female was confirmed, during the day and also during the night. RAT recommendation: We decided that no intervention is necessary. We establish two feeding points to keep the female at the fence of the military unit, but the points were visited by wild boar. Implemented solution/results: We made a theoretical training with officers from the unit, to explain the behaviour of the bear and how the personal of the unit should act in the case of meeting with the bears inside the forested area of the unit. After the end of September no bear was observed inside the fenced area. Photo: Due to the specific of the activity no photos were taken.

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Unitatea de implementare a proiectului LIFE08/NAT/RO/000500 - LIFEURSUS RAT Case : CV/Balvanyos/001/25.06.2010 County: Covasna Village/City: Balvanyos Location: Istvana Pension Rat Members: Pop Ioan Mihai, Matei Liviu Description of the problem: Balvanyos village is an isolated area surrounded by forest, with a historical problems related to garbage bears. In the village there are three points with garbage containers accessible to bears. The houses are build near by forest and in most of the cases no fences are build. Monitoring results: After four nights of monitoring we identify one female with one cub, two juvenile bears and one adult. The adult bear was visiting the garbage containers sporadically. The female with the cub and the juveniles bear were entering in each night into the village. After analyzing the behaviour of each bear we decided that the presence of the female is a great risk for humans live. In one night he was entering in two different houses and also he was visiting the children camp from the village. The female behave as a food conditioned bear, showing no fear of human presence. RAT recommendation: 1. Removal of the female from the population, placing the cub in to the rehabilitation centre from Balan, Harghita, managed by project partner ACNV. 2. Changes of the current garbage management and using of bear proof containers. Implemented solution/results: The female was shot and the cub was introduced in the rehabilitation program. The presence of the juvenile bears was notice until the end of October, with no high level of risk. The area has to be permanent under observation. Photo:

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Unitatea de implementare a proiectului LIFE08/NAT/RO/000500 - LIFEURSUS RAT Case: CV/Bodoc/001/19.06.2010 County: Covasna Village/City: Bodoc Location: Cariera argila RAT Members: Pop Ioan Mihai, Matei Liviu Description of the problem: On 19 june a juvenile bear was observed on the road i to the village. In the same night the bear has enter in the backyard of two houses. On the next two nights the bear was observed in different area from the village. Monitoring results: After two nights of monitoring the bear was identified as a 2 year old cub, with a normal behaviour. RAT recommendation: 1. We decide to relocate the cub into Putna Vrancea Natural Park. Implemented solution/results: On 24 june 2010 the bear was captured, marked and relocated into a wilderness area in Putna Vrancea Natural Park. The bear is still under monitoring using GPS/GSP system. Until the end of November has manifested a normal behaviour, no damage being reported on the location on which the bear was passing.

Photo:

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Unitatea de implementare a proiectului LIFE08/NAT/RO/000500 - LIFEURSUS RAT Case: CV/Arcus/001/20.06.2010 County: Covasna Village/City: Arcus Location: Pig Farm, Apiary RAT Members: Pop Ioan Mihai, Matei Liviu Description of the problem: During the 14th June and 19th June in each night a pig farm and a apiary situated near by the Arcus village were visited by an unidentified bear. The bear has entered into the stable and killed one pig and injured another two. At the apiary there were no damage reported because the farm was surrounded by an improvise electric fence. Starting with 20th June we start monitoring the area for a period of four nights. Monitoring results: During the monitoring period the bear was not identify, and there were no signals of the presence near the farms or the village. Although at a sheep farm situated 2 km from the village, during the monitoring period one bear was observed, without making any damages. RAT recommendation: 1. Installing of a better protection system. Implemented solution/results: The owners of the farm decided to use electric fences. The project team give them support to install the system. No damages were reported from the area until November 2010. Photo:

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Unitatea de implementare a proiectului LIFE08/NAT/RO/000500 - LIFEURSUS RAT Case : CV/Filia/001/23.06.2010 County: Covasna Village/City:Filia Location: Bee Farm RAT Members: Pop Ioan Mihai, Matei Liviu Description of the problem: In the Filia Village, an apiary was visited several times by a bear who destroyed 4 beehives. The apiary is situated into the village, distance to forest being over 300 meters. Monitoring results: The monitoring was made by the bee keeper and the bear remain unidentified. RAT recommendation: 1. Installing of a better protection system. Implemented solution/results: The beekeeper has improved the protection system with an electric fence. The project team offered support for installing the system. Photo:

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Unitatea de implementare a proiectului LIFE08/NAT/RO/000500 - LIFEURSUS RAT Case : CV/Malnas/001/28.06.2010 County: Covasna Village/City: Malnas RAT Members: Pop Ioan Mihai

Location: Railway station

Description of the problem: At a cow farm situated 300 meters from the railway station of the Malnas village, an adult bear has been observed several times. Three times from 25 June the dogs chase the bear into the railway station creating risks for people using the station. On 27 June a cow was killed by bear, minutes before the RAT team reach the observation points. Monitoring results: The bear was identified as an adult bear, male, age 8-10 years, over 180 kilograms. RAT recommendation: 1. Capturing and relocation of the bear. Implemented solution/results: On 5 June the bear was captured by ARMU team, and was relocated into Vrancea Mountains. Immediately after relocation the bear remove the attached collar. No damages were reported from the relocation area. Photo:

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Unitatea de implementare a proiectului LIFE08/NAT/RO/000500 - LIFEURSUS RAT Case: CV/Bixad/001/12.08.2010 County: Covasna Village/City: Bixad Location: Railway station Rat Members: Pop Ioan Mihai, Matei Liviu Description of the problem: The railway station is located 500 meters from the Bixad Village. The agricultural field with corn represent a powerful attractant for the bears. Starting with first of august several bears were observed in the area. On 6 august a bear was entering into a backyard of a house and destroyed the corn field. The road from the station until the first houses used by travellers is permanent used also by bears. Monitoring results: The bear were coming from the vest side of the village from forests situated over 1 km far. We identify two juvenile bears and one female with two cubs. Using the area. All the bears were manifested a normal behaviour. Due to the configuration of the area there are no protection systems identified as a useful tool. RAT recommendation: 1. Improving the public lighting at the station area and also on the road to the village. Implemented solution/results: No human injuries were reported. The bears were present in the area until end of November. Photo:

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Unitatea de implementare a proiectului LIFE08/NAT/RO/000500 - LIFEURSUS RAT Case: VN/Vintileasca/001/22.01.2010 County: Vrancea Village/City: Vintileasca Location: village RAT Members: Radu Mihai Sandu, Ioan Mihai Pop Description of the problem: From the 3 January until 19th January a juvenile bear was spotted into the Vintileasca village in several locations. Because of the winter period the behaviour was consider unusual and the risk was considered high enough to create problems. Monitoring results: The bears was spotted in the monitoring period from 22 until 25 January, in several location. RAT recommendation: 1. Capturing the bear and placing into rehabilitation centre to be helped until the spring and then release him back into the wild Implemented solution/results: After the monitoring period the bear was not observed into the village. Photo:

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Unitatea de implementare a proiectului LIFE08/NAT/RO/000500 - LIFEURSUS RAT Case : VN/Lepsa/001/15.08.2010 County: Vrancea Village/City: Lepsa Location: Orchard RAT Members: Silviu Chiriac, Radu Mihai Sandu Description of the problem: Starting with 8 August until 15th August one female with two cubs was observed in several orchards and backyards from Lepsa village. The problem was identical in the year 2009. Monitoring results: The presence of the female was confirmed, during the night period, but the precise identification was impossible. RAT recommendation: 1. Implementing protection systems with electric fence. Implemented solution/results: The ACDB team has built an enclosure of the most visited orchard with electric fence. The brown bear female was electrocuted in the following night and run from the area. No sign of the female or cubs were reported in the following weeks. Photo:

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Unitatea de implementare a proiectului LIFE08/NAT/RO/000500 - LIFEURSUS RAT Case: HR/Balan/001/22.04.2010 County: Harghita Village/City: Balan RAT Members: Szabo Szilard, Both Joszef

Location: village

Description of the problem: On 20th April a bear has enter into a stable with sheep’s and killed four pieces of them. The distance between the backyard, were the stable is, to the forest is less than 100 m. After the tracks discovered near the backyard it was a juvenile bear. Monitoring results: The monitoring was made with the help of local people. During the following days no damage occurred and no bear was spotted, in the vicinity of the city RAT recommendation: 1. No intervention. 2. Monitoring of the area. Implemented solution/results: No damages were register during the following months Photo:

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Unitatea de implementare a proiectului LIFE08/NAT/RO/000500 - LIFEURSUS RAT Case : HR/Lunca de jos/001/01.07.2010 County: Harghita Village/City: Lunca de jos meadow RAT Members: Both Joszef, Szabo Szilard

Location: village commune

Description of the problem: On the village meadow, at 100 m from the village, one cow was killed on 30 June, by a bear, with an aggressive behaviour, due to the fact that the local people tried to scare him off. The main problem is the traditional way of raising cow, free during the day and night on the pasture. Monitoring results: After two days of area monitoring, another cow was killed by the same bear, identified as a female. After this incident the bear was not spotted in the area until the end of November. RAT recommendation: 1. Implementing minimum protection measure. 2. Monitoring of the area. Implemented solution/results: Safe guarding of the cows by people from the village with dogs. Photo:

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Unitatea de implementare a proiectului LIFE08/NAT/RO/000500 - LIFEURSUS RAT Case: HR/Baile Tusnad/001/06.07.2010 County: Harghita Village/City:Baile Tusnad Location:Garbage containers RAT Members: Szabo Szilard, Ioan Mihai Pop Description of the problem: The presence of garbage bears is an old problem in Baile Tusnad. The phenomenon is older than 20 years, due to the location of the city near by forest. Also the area is a forested area with the role of corridor for mammals. In this context the presence of bears in the area is inevitable. The problem is developed around the garbage disposal places, with a superficially protection system. After the closing of the city waste deposit part of the bears have started to use the garbage containers from the city. Also the bears were observed in the local people orchards. Monitoring results: During three days of monitoring the area, we have identified one female with three cubs, one female with four cubs, and one juvenile bear 4-5 years old. They were spotted in different places of the city, manifesting a habituated bear behaviour. RAT recommendation: 1. Changing the garbage containers with bear proof containers, removal of the garbage daily before sunset. 2. Relocation of the cubs into rehabilitation centre. 3. A much complex system of managing the problem is needed. Implemented solution/results: The garbage was removed daily. The containers were not changed. The frequency of the bear presence remained the same. The permit for capturing the cubs was not approved by the ministry due to the female relocation issue. The case will be permanently opened. Photo:

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Unitatea de implementare a proiectului LIFE08/NAT/RO/000500 - LIFEURSUS RAT Case: HR/Gheorgheni/001/28.07.2010 County: Harghita Village/City: Gheorgheni Location: residential area Felszeg RAT Members: Both Joszef, Bereczky Leonardo Description of the problem: On 27 July a juvenile bear has killed 11 sheep’s in the backyard of a house from the residential area Felszeg, in the city of Gheorgheni. The area is a very populated area being the first time when a bear was spotted between the houses. The local authorities have made a request to the project partner EPA Harghita to remove the bear from the area. Monitoring results: During four days of the area monitoring no bear was observed. RAT recommendation: 1. On demand of the authorities – Relocation of the bear. 2. Monitoring the area. Implemented solution/results: The ARMU team has prepared a cage for capturing the bear, but there were no bears presence observed in the area. No problems were registered in the following months. Photo:

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Unitatea de implementare a proiectului LIFE08/NAT/RO/000500 - LIFEURSUS RAT Case : HR/Ghipes/001/05.08.2010 County: Harghita Village/City: Ghipes Location: orchard RAT Members: Szabo Szilard, Ioan Mihai Pop Description of the problem: One bear was observed in an orchard in Ghipes village. In the human presence he left the area. Monitoring results: During two days of monitoring no presences was signalled by the owner. The local people has mentioned the presence of a bear in different location. RAT recommendation: 1. No intervention, 2. Monitoring the area. Implemented solution/results: The owner of the orchard brought his own electric fence. The project team offered repellent substances and acoustic and visual repellent systems. Photo:

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Unitatea de implementare a proiectului LIFE08/NAT/RO/000500 - LIFEURSUS RAT Case: HR/Lupeni/001/10.08.2010 County: Harghita Village/City: Lupeni RAT Members: Szabo Szilard

Location: agricultural field

Description of the problem: The agricultural fields from the vicinity of Lupeni village, were partially destroyed by an unknown numbers of bears. The problem was created by the intense human activity on the field. Monitoring results: After two days of monitoring two bears were spotted at long distance from the field. RAT recommendation: 1. No intervention, 2. Monitoring the area. Implemented solution/results: The filed was protected by local farmers with dogs. No damages were reported in the following weeks. Photo:

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Unitatea de implementare a proiectului LIFE08/NAT/RO/000500 - LIFEURSUS RAT Case : HR/Danesti/001/12.08.2010 County: Harghita Village/City: Danesti RAT Members: Szabo Szilard

Location: apiary

Description of the problem: On 11 August a juvenile bear was entering into an apiary inside the Danesti village and destroyed 5 beehives. Monitoring results: During the next two nights the bear tried to enter again in the apiary, but the improvement of the protection systems have been efficient. RAT recommendation: 1. Monitoring the area. 2. Improvement of the protection systems. Implemented solution/results: After the first damage, the apiary has been guarded by dogs and repellent substances and acoustic and visual aversive systems developed by the owners with the help of the project team. No damages have been reported in the following weeks. Photo:

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Unitatea de implementare a proiectului LIFE08/NAT/RO/000500 - LIFEURSUS RAT Case : HR/Vlahita/001/17.08.2010 County: Harghita Village/City: Vlahita Location: apiary RAT Members: Szabo Szilard, Both Joszef, Mihai Pop Description of the problem: On 16 August a female with two cubs was entering into an apiary inside the Vlahita village and destroyed 1 beehive. The female has been seen by the local people trying to enter in other households. Monitoring results: During the next two nights the bear tried to enter again in the apiary, but the improvement of the protection systems have been efficient. RAT recommendation: 1. Monitoring the area. 2. Improvement of the protection systems. Implemented solution/results: After the first damage, the apiary has been protected with an electric fence. No damages were reported in the following weeks. Photo:

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Unitatea de implementare a proiectului LIFE08/NAT/RO/000500 - LIFEURSUS RAT Case : HR/Suseni/001/07.09.2010 County: Harghita Village/City: Suseni RAT Members: Both Joszef

Location: Stable/Barn

Description of the problem: On 5 September in the stable from a household, a bear has killed 8 sheep’s, and eat them partially inside the backyard. The attack was not observed until the second day and another 4 sheep’s has to be put to death by the owner. Monitoring results: The area was surveyed for another four days with the support of the hunting game manager. There were no reports of the bear presence in the vicinity of the village. RAT recommendation: 1. Monitoring the area, no intervention. Implemented solution/results: The area was watch by hunters with dogs. No damages occurred in the following weeks. Photo:

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Unitatea de implementare a proiectului LIFE08/NAT/RO/000500 - LIFEURSUS RAT Case : HR/Subcetate/001/10.09.2010 County: Harghita Village/City: Subcetate RAT Members: Both Joszef

Location: stable

Description of the problem: On 9 September, in the morning, a bear has entered into a stable from Subcetate village, and killed one sheep. The remains of the domestic animal were found at 100 m from the backyard of the household. Monitoring results: During seven days no damages were registered. On the 16 September another damages occurred in another house hold, three rabbits being eaten. A neighbour farmer using dogs has chased the bear into the forest. The bear remains unidentified. RAT recommendation: 1. Monitoring of the area. 2. Moving the dogs in the backyard. 3. Using lights in the household. Implemented solution/results: No damages were reported in the following weeks. Photo:

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Unitatea de implementare a proiectului LIFE08/NAT/RO/000500 - LIFEURSUS RAT Case: HR/Ulcani/001/28.09.2010 County: Harghita Village/City:Ulcani RAT Members: Both Joszef, Szilard Szabo

Location: Sheep stable

Description of the problem: On 26 September in the backyard of a household, a unidentified bear has killed 5 sheep’s. The household is located at the limit of the village near by an orchard. This was the first incident reported from the area. Monitoring results: The monitoring was made through the local people. After one week no presence of bears were reported. RAT recommendation: 1. Monitoring of the area. Implemented solution/results: The people from the villages were asked to use dogs in the backyard of the households. No other damages were reported. Photo:

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Raport 2010 Risk Assessment Team Final  

Raport 2010 Risk Assessment Team Final

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