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Do you think a reintroduction possible for the Asturian bear cub PROVIDED she recovers from her injuries?  

Yes, but only back to her mother
Yes, but on her own when she's old enough
No, it would never work

Oso pardo

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Offline steveT

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« Reply #100 on: January 17, 2008, 22:59 PM »
Well the story continues............

I've just found this today.........A study of 4 grizzly bear(urus arctos- brown bears) populations in Alaska in 1998. Using dna analysis concluded that stretches of sea water 2-4km were enough to stop gene flow via females and 7km for males.

The straits using the -100m contour ( the approx depth of Med here in the last glacial maximum ), reveal a 20 plus km  unclosed  V shaped channel, about 15 km wide in th east and 20 in the west ( unlike the coastline of today). The shore on both sides being straight but there are places where the width was perhaps 11km.

So in conclusion there probably was the odd bear that swam/drifted either way ( bears that were foraging on the strand line and then got into difficulties for example) but it is unlikely that there would not have been any significant dna transfer. 

Also going back to bears in Almeria. The western European bear group ( the spanish bears group) are more closely linked to the Mongolian bear group that even the eastern European bear group ( dna studies show this - believe it or not). In the Gobi desert there is an isolated group of about 50 of the them.....there is footage of them too......The link means nothing. But shows with no human interference brown bears can cope with extreme aridity and backs up the fact that the desert lands of Almeria would have supported bears, probably seasonally but perhaps year round.

steveT

Offline lisa

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« Reply #101 on: January 18, 2008, 22:16 PM »
I suppose their diet would have been more carnivorous in that case. Bears are very adaptable in their eating habits, ie Grizzlies and salmon. I still haven't read all my homework so will be back soon........
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Offline Dave

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« Reply #102 on: January 25, 2008, 16:23 PM »
Hi Lisa and All
Not a Spanish story but it is about an Oso Pardo thought you might be interested
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/south_of_scotland/7208505.stm
regards
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Offline lisa

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« Reply #103 on: January 26, 2008, 08:26 AM »
Thanks Walt Dave. All I can say to that is I hope he did "stick 'em in his ear."
Back to the Cantabrian bears. Fapas have just finished planting 150,000 trees on 230ha of land in the area of Belmonte in Asturias. The project is a compensation measure, insisted on by the Asturian government, towards the conservation of the bears after the building of a 46-turbine wind farm in their territory. The trees have been planted in fields that were once used for growing maize and wheat and that since rural depopulation of the area, had been abandoned. In the short term the trees (mainly chestnut and wild cherry) will provide fruit for the bears before, in the long term, being used for their wood.
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Offline nick

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« Reply #104 on: January 27, 2008, 18:18 PM »
Lisa and all,

I wrote this on the blog but I am unsure about the end. Does this affect bears? If so this is very good news.

http://www.iberianature.com/spainblog/2008/01/27/dead-livestock-to-be-left-in-picos/
http://www.fapas.es/notifapas/fapasprensa/2008/20080123_reses_picos.htm

Good news. Dead livestock is to be left uncollected in the Picos de Europa for the first time since 2001 when the EU banned the practice due to Mad Cows’ disease. At present some 20,000 dead animals  are removed every year from the Spanish / Asturian (??? See below) countryside which otherwise would have formed part of the food chain. (Fapas)

I am at present unsure as to whether the dead livestock is to be collected in special areas only for carrion birds, or whether, mammals such as brown bears will also be able to benefit. Attacks by bears on fruit trees and beehives have increased dramtically since the ban as carrion forms an essential part of their diet.

Note
In the Fapas article is say Asturian countryside - But I have the figure of 17,000 for the whole of Spain from Quercus. Surely this is correct.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2008, 18:28 PM by nick »
Nick
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Offline lisa

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« Reply #105 on: January 27, 2008, 21:19 PM »
I'm not sure the remains will be collected - more likely to be left where they are. I posted this here because I didn't/don't think it's of as much relevance for the bears as the carrion-eating birds. The Picos are not really bear territory but the law could be contagious  :) (It wouldn't have to spread far to have a real effect.)
20,000 does seem a lot of carcasses, I think 2,000 would be nearer the mark.
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Offline lisa

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« Reply #106 on: February 17, 2008, 08:33 AM »
The Cantabrian brown bear is now on Wikipedia.
More will be added. Many thanks to Tp for the fiddly bits  :)

Am now off to overhaul my website  >:D
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Offline Clive

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« Reply #107 on: February 17, 2008, 09:26 AM »
That's excellent Lisa (and Tp) :)

It reads really well and I am sure it will raise the profile of your petition as well...

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Offline steveT

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« Reply #108 on: February 17, 2008, 21:41 PM »
Yes Lisa and Tp........great stuff....!!!!!!!!!!!!

So would it have been better to restock the Pyrennes, with bears from southern Sweden?

steveT

 

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #109 on: February 18, 2008, 09:18 AM »
Greetings steveT and All,
Mestizaje (En. anyone?) rules ...
Following Darwin, is there any research demonstration that hybrids etc. are hardier survivors than inbred flora/fauna/fungi :dancing:
After all, there is research that suggests each generation increases its IQ - at least since research started - though I have my doubts ... as to the relevance of IQ and/or definitions of intelligence. :technodevil:
Trying-to-cheer-meself-up regs.,
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline lisa

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« Reply #110 on: February 18, 2008, 14:16 PM »
I don't suppose it would make much difference Steve as there are only two male autochtonous bears left in the Pyrenees and, as far as I remember but can't find the numbers now, not many of the western lineage left in Sweden as the barrier has been crossed and bears are breeding with the (north) eastern lineage. How dare they! There's no chance of bears in the Pyrenees and the Cordillera getting together, plus bears from Slovenia were a good deal apparently. All same species don't forget  >:D
Wiki has this on Ursid hybrids. Between different species of bear I think, interesting to see which are fertile (but no mention of intelligence  ::)) - actually the more I read, just when I think I've got it I read something else and I'm thrown back to square one. Just found what could be the start of a lifetime's work on Wiki  ::) There's far too much confusion re. bears and looking at either the Fauna of Spain or a List of Spanish Species (can't remember that either) bears aren't even on it  :o let alone what they're called!

P.S. Crossbreeding. What do you get if a crossdresser crossbreeds? Not here - somewhere else please  :)
« Last Edit: February 18, 2008, 14:20 PM by lisa »
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Offline nick

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« Reply #111 on: February 28, 2008, 12:53 PM »
Apparantly bears now "live in colonies" (reminds me of the Castila-La Mancha lynx "packs") but it's good to see they are getting more publicity...

Brown bears make a comeback in the mountains of SpainT he endangered brown bear, which once roamed the forests of Europe, is showing signs of recovery in one of its remaining strongholds, the Cantabrian mountains of Spain.

Small colonies of brown bears are increasing in the craggy northern cordillera of Asturias and Cantabria.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/europe/brown-bears-make-a-comeback-in-the-mountains-of-spain-788581.html
Nick
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Offline lisa

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« Reply #112 on: February 28, 2008, 14:44 PM »
Thanks Nick. I'm trying to contact Elizabeth Nash as there's a glaring omission in the article!
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Offline lisa

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« Reply #113 on: February 29, 2008, 14:59 PM »
The case of the bear found dead in the Polentinos area of the Cantabrian mountains in August, last year, has been re-opened. Will be interesting. From ABC.es.
(Also posted on IberiaNature blog on the right-hand side.)
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Offline lisa

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« Reply #114 on: March 10, 2008, 07:45 AM »
On Iberianature blog;
The number of bears identified in the Trubia valley in Asturias, from Quirós towards Oviedo, has doubled from eight in 2006 to sixteen in 2007. At least three breeding females have been identified who appear to be having few problems raising their cubs, leading to a lower infant mortality rate in this area than in other parts of the Cantabrian mountain chain. An abundance of food in the lower wooded valleys for these opportunistic animals, combined with recent mild winters, have contributed to this success. From  Fapas.

(More wild neighbours for the semi-captive female Cantabrian brown bears in the same valley, Paca and Tola, who are presently awaiting a suitor in their new enclosure in Proaza in a plan to test their fertility with a captive male European brown bear from the Cabárceno safari park in neighbouring Cantabria previous to finding a suitable wild, male Cantabrian brown bear.)


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Offline tonyninfas

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« Reply #115 on: March 10, 2008, 08:51 AM »
What absolutely fantastic nes Lisa.  Let's hopethat it continues that way.

Offline lucy

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« Reply #116 on: March 10, 2008, 10:15 AM »
I've just caught up with the new page on Wikipedia about Cantabrian bears.  Congratulations Lisa, and TP too.  I like the subtle way the basic absurdity of the San Gloria project is dropped in. Brilliant!

Offline lucy

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« Reply #117 on: March 10, 2008, 10:47 AM »
I’m reminded of a conversation overheard about 3 years ago in a small bar not far from Proaza.  Two men were commenting on some damage recently done on some land (didn’t hear what exactly, should’ve asked) and were wondering if the culprit was a boar or a bear.  It was their complete matter-of-factness that struck me.  The normality of a bear wandering onto your land!

Offline lisa

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« Reply #118 on: March 19, 2008, 09:21 AM »
Flicking through El País yesterday I came across the news of a newly-published study which corroborates the previous one (page 5 of this thread?) which found general free-flow of bears south of the European ice caps. This latest study, led by Spanish scientists, apparently hoped to find the Iberian bears to be a genetically distinct subspecies but, instead, found gene matches between them and other bears as far afield as Eastern Europe and Russia.
Published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America; Surprising migration and population size dynamics in ancient Iberian brown bears (Ursus arctos)
Cristina E. Valdiosera*,, José Luis García-Garitagoitia, Nuria Garcia*, Ignacio Doadrio, Mark G. Thomas, Catherine Hänni¶, Juan-Luis Arsuaga*,, Ian Barnes||, Michael Hofreiter**, Ludovic Orlando¶, and Anders Götherström.
They too conclude that the Cantabrian brown bears have only very recently become isolated, due to human pressure, and that introductions from other parts of Europe wouldn't harm any conservation measures. (The Fundación del Oso Pardo and Fapas both see this as unnecessary for the moment.)
I've been pondering the size of the bears compared to the others and know there's a theory/rule named after someone (anyone know it?) which claims latitude to have a bearing ( ::)) on the size of individuals. That reminds me of terrapins and tanks which I suppose is the same idea that food supply limits the growth of individuals of a species. I'm thinking the Sun bear, being the smallest and furthest south and Kodiak and Polar being the largest in the north but am thrown a bit by Steve's Gobi desert bears which are smaller than the Iberian. An exception I suppose, being a desert with a very limited food supply. There's never a globe around when you need one.

I'm about to post on the IberiaNature blog some recent figures of the amount of illegal traps removed here in the mountains so keep your eyes on that later.
And, I must tell you that I'm over the moon, as they say, because having joined the Fundación Oso Pardo ages ago, they've eventually sent me my carnet along with a book - Palomero, G. F. Ballesteros, J.C. Blanco, A. García-Serrano, J. Herrero y C. Nores (2007). Osas. El comportamiento de las osas y sus crías en la Cordillera Cantábrica. Fundación Oso Pardo, Fundación Biodiversidad. Madrid, which is accompanied by a dvd - completely delightful film of cubs playing but also amazing and harrowing film of a male practising infanticide. Luckily, this last is rather distant. I'll bring it to Grazalema  :dancing:
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Offline lisa

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« Reply #119 on: March 19, 2008, 19:47 PM »
Oh dear, I logged on earlier to post this on the afore-mentioned snare figures and got sidetracked by Isla Perdiguera plants and mutant ladybirds in greenhouses. Here it is, from the IberiaNature blog;

The Spanish Brown bear foundation, Fundación Oso Pardo, has released figures of the illegal snare traps its patrols have removed in the Cantabrian mountains. Although the numbers have declined since they started their patrols, the figures are still alarming and continue to be a threat to the bears’ survival. These lethal wire traps are set mostly to trap wild boar and deer that cause damage to crops, though some are laid just for trophies and meat. Of the 1,155 snares discovered, most were found in Asturias. In 2004 the total found amounted to 225 but 2007 saw the figure drop to 67. However, in the area of Ancares, on the borders of Lugo (Galicia), Asturias and León, 130 have been removed in the last 5 years by one of the foundation’s patrols and, in the same area, 63 snares were found in the days between Feb. 27th and the 1st of March this year. These figures are without taking into account the snares removed by Fapas who are also working in this conservation area. It is hoped that continued education and intensive searches will see figures drop further. Sadly, due to the obstacle of not being able to provide proof, most cases go unprosecuted.

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