Action E.3 - Monitoring of brown bear population and distribution status and trends

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Beneficiary responsible Foreseen Start Date Actual Start Date Foreseen End Date Actual End Date
CALLISTO 1/1/2012 1/1/2012 31/12/2013 30/09/2015

Due to several constraints related to project cash flow problems, this action was not properly implemented at the appropriate periods as described in the project proposal (that is in spring 2012, 2013 and 2014) and this during the whole core project duration phase. Here again, in order to compensate this time loss, the following alternatives were planned and implemented 

Summer 2012: An overall field survey of the majority of hair-traps network (installed under action A3) with the participation of an internship student (biologist from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, hosted by CALLISTO for two months) was achieved in July and August 2012).
Late summer 2012 and 2013: the monitoring of a fraction of the bear population range, located around the wider sector of Lake Kastoria in “hot spots” with bear-human interference and conflict incidents, was achieved twice with the use of eleven (11) IR cameras (with a rotation sampling system) in three adjacent sampling sectors. Data and results from this monitoring operation and type of protocol have been processed and are presented in AnnexV that accompanies this (Final) Report.
In October 2014: the possibility to implement more properly action E3 as described in the project proposal, finally presented. However only one of-season implementation of the survey method initially described in the project proposal (detection of bear bio-signs and presence of FWCOY – females with cubs of the year) would not have yielded comparable data with those yielded under the alternative protocols (used in 2012 and 2013) with the hair-traps and the use of IR cameras. Therefore and in order to have at least comparable results with the main action’s objective regarding the estimation of bear population levels and trends (also output from action A3), it was judged more appropriate to conduct a second survey of the already existing network of hair traps (installed under action A3) and to collect additional biological material for a second session of DNA analysis.
In September 2015: After prolonged project’s financial delays in cash flow from the side of RWM, savings from implementation of other project’s actions (such as Action D.8, which achieved all its goals without using money allocated for covering the transportation costs of schools to the project area) made finally possible to envisage the laboratory analyses part of the bear biological material, foreseen under this action. In the meantime all necessary contacts and arrangements with the Laboratory of Genetics at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (assigned for this task) had been made in order to start scheduling the analyses part as well as the structure of the deliverable report which is included in this final report(see AnnexV that accompanies this (Final) Report).