Census reveals around a dozen brown bears in Latvia

Five scientists from the Latvian State Forestry Institute "Silava" have researched the habits of the country's bear population and come to the conclusion that 10 to 14 of the creatures are living here.

Bear footprints have been found in four places, and information has been gathered about 14 more cases of bears or their footprints being spotted, Dace Pabērza of the Nature Conservation Agency (DAP) told the press on Wednesday.

During the research period up to seven grown up bears had been spotted in Latvia, including two bear mothers, along with four cubs, bringing the provisional estimate to 11. 

The monitoring of the population was carried out in five nature reserves, all of them located by Latvia's border by Estonia and Russia.

"The bear population and their place of residence in the country has been quite stable since the 1970s. It fluctuates from 10 to 14 individuals, and this year's monitoring results aren't too different from the known information. There's no sign that bears are breeding in Latvia," said Evija Lakotko from the DAP Monitoring and planning department. 

"Though this year's monitoring results and reports about bear mothers and their cubs, so perhaps the big animals do feel good at our place and perhaps breed as well, though it is not scientifically proven and it's just speculation.

From the current information it's to early to say about the growth of bear population in Latvia [..]" said Lakotko. 

The DAP plans on continuing the monitoring of brown bears, and it is hoped to renew the protection plan of the species. Everyone is kindly requested to report any observed specimen or footprints at the Dabasdati portal. 

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