Convention on the Conservation

of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats

Standing Committee

Recommendation No. 163 (2012) of the Standing Committee, adopted on 30 November 2012, on the management of expanding populations of large carnivores in Europe

The Standing Committee of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, acting under the terms of Article 14 of the Convention,

Having regard to the aims of the Convention to conserve wild flora and fauna and its natural habitats;

Welcoming the natural expansion of population of large carnivores in Europe, as these species play a key ecological role in natural and semi-natural habitats;

Wishing to promote co-existence of viable populations of large carnivores with sustainable development of rural areas in appropriate regions;

Noting that expanding populations of large carnivores can be associated with a wide range of social conflicts, including conflict with livestock rearing, game resources, other human interests and the fear they can induce in many people, particularly in areas recently colonized by large carnivores;

Taking into account the importance of acceptance of local people for the success of large carnivore management;

Recalling its Recommendations No. 115 (2005) on the conservation and management of transboundary populations of large carnivores, and No. 137 (2008) on population level management of large carnivores population;

Recommends that Contracting Parties to the Convention:

1.    Address the issue of expanding large carnivores populations, inter alia by :

-      Improving social acceptance of large carnivores and understanding of their habitats;

-      Addressing conservation of large carnivores in a long-term perspective and taking into account their large-scale distribution;

-      Establishing the necessary partnerships with different interest stakeholders;

-      Promoting appropriate methods and practices to mitigate or avoid predation

In that context, welcome the natural expansion of large carnivores’ populations, especially where this may help a population to reach a satisfactory conservation status and/or improve its genetic variability;

2.    Collaborate as appropriate in the above with other states sharing the same population, thus implementing the population level management approach endorsed in its Recommendation No. 115 (2005);

3.    Where large carnivores are hunted, carry out sound monitoring of those species and fix hunting quotas taking into account their conservation status, the sustainability of present population and their natural expansion.