Convention on the Conservation

of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats

Standing Committee

Recommendation No. 162 (2012) of the Standing Committee, adopted on 30 November 2012, on the conservation of large carnivores populations in Europe requesting special conservation action

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;

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

Aware that the drafting and implementation of Action Plans may be a useful tool to address the conservation of large carnivore populations in Europe;

Recalling its Recommendations No. 115 (2005) on the conservation and management of transboundary populations of large carnivores and bearing in mind the importance of core (source) populations for transboundary migration and dispersal as well as viability of large carnivores´ populations in neighbouring States, and also recalling its Recommendation and No. 137 (2008) on population level management of large carnivores populations;

Recommends that:

1.    Brown bear in Central Italy

-      Italy implements without delay the Action Plan for the Conservation of the Marsican brown bear, encouraging closer cooperation among the different national and regional authorities involved well as the Abruzzi National Park.

2.    Wolf in Italy

-      Italy pursues efforts to control hybrids, drafting and implementing a strategy aimed to reduce progressively the genetic pollution affecting wolf in Italy.

3.    Brown bear in the Balkans

-           Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro urgently draw up management plans for brown bear carrying out the necessary surveys and relaying on the expertise of other countries of the region so as to integrate their conservation efforts into a wider South-East context.

4.    Eurasian lynx in the Balkans

-            Albania and “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” draw up and implement, as a matter of urgency, action plans for the last remaining autochthonous population of lynx in the region, using as appropriate the strategy for the Conservation of the Balkan lynx in Albania and “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”;

-            “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” assesses the environmental impact on lynx population of the dams in the Mavrovo National Park, a site identified as a candidate for the Emerald Network, considering the abandonment of the project if the dam risks to endanger the lynx population.

5.    Large carnivores in South-East Europe

-      Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”: assess the effect of new transport infrastructures on large carnivores, introducing corrective measures whenever they are likely to produce new fragmentation that may endanger large carnivores’ populations.

6.    Large carnivores in Eastern Alps

-      Austria and Italy establish and implement more stringent conservation measures of large carnivores in the Eastern Alps, controlling the high death rate of carnivores in that area, so that natural colonisation by wolf, lynx and bear may continue in the favourable habitat available for those species.

7.    Wolf in the Iberian Peninsula

-      Spain urgently conducts a survey of wolf in Sierra Morena, taking all the necessary steps to avoid the decline and disappearance of that important population;

-      Portugal and Spain conduct national surveys of wolf, mapping packs with the standard agreed methodology for the whole Iberian Peninsula.

8.    Large carnivores in the Caucasus

-      Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia implement, without delay, Recommendation N° 148 (2010) on the conservation of Large Carnivores in the Caucasus, paying special attention to conducting the necessary surveys, improve herbivore densities, devote efforts to train the necessary experts and consider-as appropriate the launch of a survey programme for leopard;

-      Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia identify, in new territories, areas, which have favourable habitats for large carnivores and that, are at present not colonised.

9.    Large carnivores in the Carpathians

-      Concerned States strengthen cooperation, adopt a population level management approach and ameliorate as needed their monitoring systems so as to improve management through the use of better assessment tools; and cooperate, as appropriate, with the Alpine Convention.

10.  Large carnivores in Slovak Republic

-      The Slovak Republic continue to present participatory efforts to conclude and implement a national action plan for the brown bear; consider drafting and implementing action plans for lynx and wolf.