Research on the bear population and protection of bears in the Calimani and Gurghiului mountains in Romania with the aim to prevent bear-human conflicts. Any damages caused by bears to livestock and crops are closely monitored. Research on denning behaviour and locations, knowledge about bear home ranges, movement and activity patterns, habitat use and food searching behaviour of the bears is also carried out. Several bears have been fitted with radio collars to monitor this behaviour and gather as much data as possible.
Research and prevention
From bear poop researchers can ascertain whether the bear has been feeding on farmers’ crops or forest plants. Together with the help of local farmers, electric fences surrounding orchards and beehives are tested. Milvus organizes educational projects in schools, field excursions and develops brochures to hand out to the general public. Parallel to that, they are working hard on the development of eco-tourism. The coming years Milvus will attempt to get the project area offically recognized as protected area under the Natura2000 program. Plans for building a highway through this area only add to the need for such a status. Milvus does intensive research on the impact such a highway would have on the flora and fauna, especially on the bear population. Additionally, every year Milvus receives orphaned (sometimes injured) bear cubs. After treatment by Milvus veterinarian, the cubs are sent to the rehabilitation centre run by Leonardo Bereczky.
Improving the social acceptance of the species
Since 2018, Bears in Mind provides funding for a campaign to improve the acceptance of bears in Romania. Through a ten-episode mini-series, Milvus aimes to spread correct and factual information on bears, to try to counterbalance the omnipresent negative rhetoric (and frequent misinformation) in the Hungarian and Romanian massmedia. Each episode was realized in both Hungarian and Romanian languages, with both versions having English subtitles (these can be switched on in YouTube, CC button for Episode 1, and are embedded in each subsequent episode). Each episode was shared on Milvus Group’s own Facebook page, on YouTube, as well as on the Milvus Group webpage. For the shares on our Facebook page, we also had funding to advertise each episode. So far, February 2020, five episodes have been produced: