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Tras la pista de los osos liberados en el Pirineo

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Human-wildlife conflicts are one of the most important challenges in nature conservation. Conflicts get worse when it is public administration itself that wants to reintroduce a large carnivore such as the brown bear, persecuted historically, for conservation purposes. Defenders of reintroduction argue that the recuperation of species including large predators implies very positive effects for the ecosystem because they restore the trophic balance. On the other hand, detractors maintain that coexistence between rural productive activities and such carnivores is not possible, this is the reason why brown bears were persecuted in the past. Studies proved that percentages between defenders and detractors depend on variables such as professional dedication, site of residence and levels of knowledge. Determining these percentages for a territory and its main variables is essential to design a strategy for reintroduction. In Catalonia, very few social perception studies in relation to predator species were done, but this study has noted that 80% of respondents agreed with the reintroduction of a new brown bear, while this percentage for local residents declines to 47%. Also, knowing the predation patterns of the brown bear could help select the most suitable prevention measures. It was demonstrated that there is a significant relationship between an attacked flock and their proximity to fir and oak forests and to the potential ecological corridors of the brown bear.
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