There are 50.000 bears in Europe today and 160-200 live in North Macedonia. The accuracy of these numbers is not certain, but getting better data is not simple. MES in collaboration with the protected areas’ staff of Prespa has been setting up camera-traps in order to establish the presence of bears and other large mammals (wolf, fox, beaver, roe deer, etc.). Nevertheless, photographs cannot inform us on bear population size, thus in 2018 PrespaNET turned to indirect methods – collecting of bear scats. Besides learning a lot about their diet, fresh scat contains genetic material that through sophisticated molecular techniques can identify individuals from collected samples and eventually help estimate population size using statistical modeling. Having in mind the bears’ ability to cross wide distances this activity would make very little sense if it was only implemented in one country around the basin.
For more information, particularly opportunities to join these activities please contact us.