Brown bear reintroduction showing signs of success in the Pyrenees 

A new study has identified 70 brown bears in the Pyrenees, making it the highest population for a century.

According to the cross-border group that monitors the population in France and Spain, brown bear numbers have increased from 52 in 2018 to 70 in 2021, with half the individuals living in the Catalan Pyrenean regions of Vall d’Aran, Pallars Sobirà and Alta Ribagorça.

The species was near extinct in the region when three bears were introduced from Slovenia 26 years ago. The study identified 34 females, 32 males and four others whose gender was not determined, with 15 pups born over the course of last year. There have been 114 newborns since the scheme was launched in 1996.

The monitoring of the brown bear in the Pyrenees is conducted by EU-backed Franco-Spanish LoupO project which was established in 2020.

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