LIFE ARCPROM - Improving human-bear coexistence in 4 National Parks of South Europe

LIFE18 NAT/GR/000768

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Contact details:

Contact person: Spyridon Psaroudas
Tel: 302310252530
Fax: 302310272190
Email: spyros@callisto.gr

Project description:


Brown bear (Ursus arctos) in Greece occurs in two major population nuclei, located approximately 200 km apart, in the north-western and north-eastern part of the country. This represents the southernmost edge of the species range at the European level, and thus is of outstanding bio-geographic importance. The total bear population in the sub-areas (targeted by the project) is estimated at approx. 250 individuals, representing circa 50% of the total brown bear population in the country. Both at national and project area scale, human-caused mortality rates (9% and 7.8%, respectively) are above the sustainable threshold of 4%. TheApennine brown bear (Ursus arctos marsicanus) is an endemic subspecies of the Central Apennines whose range is estimated at circa 5 000 km2, surviving in a small remnant population estimated at around 50 individuals, whose future strongly depends on population increase and range expansion. Unsustainable mortality rates are the main threat, particularly human-caused mortality. Data collected in MNP confirm that problems to be addressed are human-related and concern two main issues: lack of awareness and availability of anthropogenic food for bears, leading to problematic behaviours (and in turn to negative attitudes toward bears).


The LIFE ARCPROM projects aims to:

    • Improve Ursus arctos conservation status in terms of population levels and trends by achieving sustainable human-bear co-existence status through minimisation of bear-human interference and subsequent conflicts detrimental to the species;
    • Minimise the intrinsic risk associated with small populations for Apennine brown bear through actions in newly recolonised areas where an increasingly stable presence has been observed in the last years;
    • Maintain human-caused mortality at a sustainable level: in Greece not exceeding 4% of the minimum estimated population in the project area; in MNP preventing human-caused mortality of bears living in the project area (4-5 bears/year representing circa 10% of the estimated population);
    • Maintain the number of reproductive females at no less than 10-12% of the minimum estimated bear population in the targeted areas in Greece; in Italy maintain the number of reproductive events at no less than 1 event/2-3 years for females present in MNP;
    • Improve the tolerance level of specific target groups regarding their coexistence with broen bear;
    • Establish stakeholder consultation and involvement through the operation of Local Platforms on Coexistence between People and Bears in all four project areas;
    • Adopt specific monitoring and management techniques dealing with the conservation of brown bear in the four National Parks;
    • Build institutional capacity via acquisition of know-how by personnel of the four National Parks on specific monitoring and management techniques dealing with the conservation of brown bear;
    • Efficiently operate self-sustainable units supporting on a long-term basis a certain category of preventive measures (i.e. anti-poison bait dogs, guarding dogs, bear emergency teams);
    • Promote the added value from the presence of brown bear in project areas in local agricultural products and tourism services labelling;
    • Strengthen transboundary cooperation in the project areas; and
    • Promote the value of volunteerism to achieve nature conservation goals.


    Expected results:

      • Intervention of bear emergency teams and use of aversive conditioning devices in at least 15 cases/yr of human-bear conflicts over the project areas;
      • Decreased conflict with habituated bears by 80%;
      • Improved management of anthropogenic food-related resources in the areas where bears exhibited problematic behaviour in the Majella NP and surrounding areas, by the protection of 100% of human-produced food used by bears in the selected villages;
      • Cooperation between Livestock Guard Dog (LGD) owners and livestock breeders (approx. 20 participants), and donation of high-quality LGDs (30 puppies & 4 adult dogs);
      • 700 anti-poison first aid kits donated to livestock farmers operating in areas of high-risk for poisoning LGD and bears;Establishment of 4 Local Platforms for Coexistence between People and Bears (6 stakeholder groups will take part in each platform);
      • Information and awareness level of specific target groups improved; Bear-friendly labelling for 10 products/services,. promotion in 30 events for tourists;
      • Human-caused bear mortality maintained at <4%;
      • Number of the yearly reproductive females no less than 10-12% of the minimum estimated bear population in the targeted areas in Greece;
      • Number of reproductive events no less than 1 event/2-3 yrs for females present in MNP, Italy;
      • Improvement of local attitudes towards bears in project areas; and Improvement of the capacity of the management bodies of National Parks as well as of other management actors dealing with coexistence between bears and people, both in the 4 project sub-areas and in at least three other parks.


Environmental issues addressed:


Species - Mammals


residential area‚  damage prevention‚  animal damage‚  endemic species‚  monitoring‚  environmental awareness‚  public awareness campaign‚  waste collection

Target EU Legislation

  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directiv ...

Target species

 URSIDAE Ursus arctos     

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator CALLISTO Wildlife and Nature Conservation Society
Partners MBPNP(Management Body of Prespa National Park), Greece UTH(UNIVERSITY OF THESSALY (PANEPISTIMIO THESSALIAS)), Greece PINDNP(Management Agency of Northern Pindos National Park), Greece UOWM(UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN MACEDONIA (PANEPISTIMIO DYTIKIS MAKEDONIAS)), Greece WWF(WWF Italia Onlus), Italy RMNP(MANAGEMENT BODY OF RODOPI MOUNTAIN-RANGE NATIONAL PARK), Greece MNP(Ente Parco Nazionale della Majella), Italy


Project reference LIFE18 NAT/GR/000768
Duration 01-OCT-2019 to 30-SEP -2024
Total budget 2,786,497.00 €
EU contribution 2,087,086.00 €
Project location


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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version