Sunday, 2 June 2013

Camera-trap records subspecies of Brown bear in Armenia

Just 150 bears in Armenia
May 2013. Recent camera-trap footage from the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge has recorded a Syrian Brown Bear and highlights the importance of camera-traps for monitoring wildlife and informing conservation strategies.

A camera-trap has recently captured rare footage of a Syrian Brown Bear (Ursus arctos syriacus), a subspecies of Brown Bear native to Eurasia. This is an important recording as there may be just one or two bears in the reserve and the Red Data Book of Armenia lists them as vulnerable.

Bears in Armenia
The bears inhabit the south-eastern part of Armenia, particularly in Meghri, Kapan, Goris, Sisian, Vayk, and Yeghegnadzor regions. They have been known to range as far as the hill foots of Mt Aragats, and up to elevations of 3,000m above sea level.

The Syrian Brown Bear's typical habitat is arid sparse forest, broadleaf forests, mountain grass lands, subalpine and alpine meadows. Availability of fruits, berries and nuts is an important influence on their distribution.

Possibly 150 bears in the wild
There are thought to be some 150 bears in the wild. The exact population is unknown - and likely to be declining due to poaching, habitat destruction and diminishing sources of food in the wild.

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