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CLIMATE CHANGE, BEARS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO EXCURSIONS

How many bears are there in Spain? Where they live? How is climate change influencing your life? What to do if you meet a bear? These and other topics are explained to us by the Oso Pardo Foundation.

In the last 50 years, spring has been brought forward five days per decade, and at the same time winters have warmed four tenths per decade. Climate scenarios predict that this dynamic will continue for several more decades.

There are several impacts that global warming has on the lives of bears, and it is convenient that they be known by people who carry out excursions and other recreational activities in mountains with bears, especially those related to hibernation.

Sport More temperature, less hibernation

Environmental temperature is an important factor for bears to go into hibernation. Global warming encourages bears to hibernate for less time or not at all. Therefore, it is foreseeable that there will be more bears active in winter, and that encounters with them will increase during these months.

sport brown bear in winter
brown bear in winter

Sport Recommendations for hikers in Montes Oseros

In winter it is easier to distinguish animal tracks in the snow. The main recommendation in winter is that you never follow the trail of a bear. You could create a conflictive situation if you catch him bedridden (resting) or feeding, and he feels threatened.

Sport where bears live

The brown bear is a priority species for the European Union. In Spain, where it is included in the Spanish Catalog of Threatened Species in the “Endangered” category, the bear lives in the Cantabrian mountain range and in the Pyrenees.

In the Cantabrian mountain range there are around of 330 brown bears in the autonomous communities of Asturias, Castilla y León (provinces of León and Palencia), Cantabria and Galicia (Lugo).

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In Pyreneesthe around 70 copies registered in 2022 move through a vast area of ​​more than 8,200 square kilometers, although the highest densities are concentrated in the central Pyrenees.

In Cataloniathe Lerida forests of the Val d’Aran and Pallars Sobirà are especially demanding.

sport Brown bear populations map
Brown bear populations map

Sport Other impacts of climate change on the lives of bears

POWER SUPPLIES

Plant species such as beech or blueberry, whose fruits bears feed on, will foreseeably suffer reductions in their production and distribution as a result of climate change. However, other species such as chestnut trees, holm oaks or Mediterranean oaks, producers of chestnuts and acorns, which bears also like, may be favored.

FOREST FIRES

In climate change scenarios, fires increase in magnitude and are more destructive and uncontrollable. They can be catastrophic for the forests where bears roost and feed. Also for the areas where bear births take place. These are rugged rocky areas with little human use, but cannon fodder for fires.

This information campaign is part of the LIFE Bears with a Future project, financed with a contribution from the LIFE program of the European Union. More information in https://fundacionosopardo.org/proyecto-life-osos-con-futuro

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