Bear attacks in Romania are on the rise, having already caused many injuries and the loss of 3 human lives since the start of 2019. How long will environmental authorities wait to take action to allow the effective regulation of the overpopulation of bears in Romania? Today, scientists and wildlife experts met in Bucharest to better understand the prevailing situation as a result of the ban on hunting of large carnivores imposed in 2016 by the then Minister of Environment, Water and Forests. The meeting was organised by the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC), with the support of the German CIC Delegation.
The ban has led to a tremendous increase in human wildlife conflicts in Romania. Necessary decisions, which have been agreed upon by all stakeholders, are being “dragged out” and not yet fully implemented. The rural people of Romania are now demanding immediate action. The meeting of scientists and experts is requesting the Romanian Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Waters and Forests to implement the agreed and officially published Action Plan which includes inter alia, the setting of intervention and preventive harvest quotas for Brown bears and Wolves. Tomorrow, the joint statement prepared by the scientists and experts will be presented to the delegates of a MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE ON LARGE CARNIVORES – CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS, organised in the framework of the Romanian Presidency of the European Council. It is hoped that the statement will find the deserved attention of decisionmakers in Romania and serve as a wake-up call for other European countries struggling with similar problems related to the steep rise in large carnivore populations. As a result of the meeting, the CIC and the European Federation for Hunting and Conservation (FACE) agreed on a joint statement (Romanian translation of the joint statement is available, kindly provided by FACE.) towards the Ministerial Conference. Herein it was emphasised that “local communities must be involved in and feel ownership of the conservation and management of these species.”