An all-you-can-eat gourmet buffet for bears to prevent them from approaching towns

Pablo Ayerbe Caselles

Polaciones (Cantabria), Jan 29 (EFE).- With the aim of improving the habitat of the brown bear in the Cantabrian Mountains and preventing this species from wandering through the towns, the Fund for the Protection of Wild Animals (Fapas) is establishing small fruit plantations in the mountains, a true all-you-can-eat buffet of “gourmet” food for the ursids.

“During the last few years, the expansion process of the bear, which we all applaud, is also causing us some inconveniences,” the honorary director of Fapas, Roberto Hartasánchez, explains to EFE, in the first area where it is being planted, the surroundings of the municipality. Cantabrian from Polaciones (Cantabria).

Hartasánchez emphasizes that the project arose as a result of verifying that the large tree plantations that have been carried out in recent years, although they have helped the proliferation of the brown bear, have turned out to be “ineffective”, since the majority of The trees have not survived.

These plantations began to be generated to create corridors between the mountains and facilitate the expansion of ursids, one of the main species with which Fapas works.

In parallel, the increase in the population of the species is causing “some bears to get too close to towns in search of food resources that they cannot find in the mountains.” “It is not acceptable,” says Hartasánchez.

“It is easier to find pears, apples and cherries in town settings, which often already have a huge loss of population and productivity,” he points out.

These foods, in addition, are what the ursids look for the most, so Fapas thought of a project that would help, on the one hand, improve the survival rate of the tree populations in the mountains, and on the other, give them food. to this species.

With these plantations – he says – it is ensured that “if a bear wants to feed on apples in the spring, it will be able to find them” and “it will not need to go down to a house in the town.”

In recent days, Fapas has completed the planting of about 40 apple trees and 10 cherry trees on an abandoned farm in the mountains near Polaciones.

In this Cantabrian valley, the association plans to plant another 500 trees, which will also be present in the region of Liébana, Bierzo (León) or the center of Asturias.

The project, which is financed by EDP Renovables, hopes to produce about 100 or 200 kilos of fruit per tree per year in four or five years, a more than enough quantity for Fapas, given the bear population.

“They are going to develop constantly, looking for farms, talking to the residents of the towns,” Hartasánchez assures EFE, who emphasizes that the project pays the owners of abandoned farms “who do not have any type of productivity.”

In addition to bears, he emphasizes that the initiative will have a high impact on other populations such as deer, roe deer, wild boar, wolves or birds.

“We planted it for the bear, but it is benefiting the entire chain of living beings,” he celebrates. EFE




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