For the first time in Montenegro, in Biogradska gora National park, at 3:10 am brown bear (Ursus Arctos) with impressive weight of 255 kg, has been captured and marked with GPS collar. A team of experts, led by dr. Duškom Ćirović, professor at Faculty of Biology in Belgrade, in cooperation with colleagues from Biogradska gora National park successfully marked the bear, who was named Nikola.
“This is one of the biggest bear captured and marked in the Balkans. Thanks to GPS collar we will be able to follow Nikola in real time and thereby have better knowledge about his movement, needs and threats this protected species is facing. We hope that he will have healthy and long life,” said professor Ćirović.
“We are pleased that we have officially confirmed the presence of this specimen on the territory of NP Biogradska Gora, which represents the first step in gathering scientifically based data, in cooperation with the best regional experts. I am certain that we will soon offer a unique tourist product in Montenegro and that we will connect all commercial subjects and local population of Kolasin and Mojkovac.” - said director of NP Biogradska Gora Saša Jeknić.
Marking of bear Nikola was done as a part of the project “Bear watching”, that is being implemented jointly by Dinarides Parks – Network of Protected Areas of Dinarides and WWF Adria – World organizations for nature. This initiative is being implemented through a regional program: “Protected Areas for Nature and People”, in cooperation with national parks Biogradska Gora in Montenegro and Tara in Serbia.
The “Bear watching” project is dedicated to the development of nature-friendly tourism with promotion of the measures for the protection and improvement of bear habitat. In the next two years, with cooperation between the representatives of stakeholders will establish a system for development and sustainable use of resources and nature protection.
"The "Bear watching" is one of a series of activities implemented by Parks Dinarides, a network of almost all protected areas in eight countries of the Dinaric region, gathered with the goal of improving the nature conservation policy through regional integration, and providing preconditions for the sustainable development of local communities near the parks. This project aims to achieve noticeable progress in protection and preservation of wild species and their habitats, through concrete activities in the field and intensive cooperation with management and local actors. In a long run, we wish to establish an attractive tourist product “Bear watching”, that would bring benefit for both NP Biogradska Gora and NP Tara and local communities. Population of protected areas and its surroundings will have an opportunity to take part in the activities of protection of the brown bear through trainings for gathering of DNK material and other activities, such as creating attractive tourist offer in roles such as guides for bear monitoring or providing accommodation, hospitality, souvenirs and other tourist products and services focused on nature.” - said Parks Dinarides executive director, Zoran Mrdak.
The brown bear is endangered by destruction of natural habitats and poaching, and its protection represents a priority on global level. Bears live independently, not in groups, they have a need for large habitats in order to move, feed, procreate and find appropriate places for winter hibernation. The protection of the brown bear is one of the priorities that will ensure that in the future, visitors of the parks will be able to have a live experience of bears, and be introduced to the life of this endangered and protected wild species.