Brown Bear Research Paper

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The increasing trend of large carnivore attacks on humans not only raises human safety concerns but may also undermine large carnivore conservation efforts.

Although rare, attacks by brown bears Ursus arctos are also on the rise and, although several studies have addressed this issue at local scales, information is lacking on a worldwide scale.

Most attacks, 85.7% (n = 568), resulted in human injury and 14.3% (n = 95) ended with the death of the person involved.

Specifically, 19 deaths occurred in Europe (6.6% of the attacks recorded in Europe), 24 in North America (13.1% of the total attacks in North America) and 52 in the East (32.0% of the total attacks in the East).

However, most of the published literature on the topic is concentrated in North America and Scandinavia, and large-scale studies are lacking.

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Here, we investigated patterns of brown bear attacks on humans occurring between 20 on a worldwide scale, with the main aim of improving our knowledge on this type of conflict and, consequently, providing useful information that could help reduce the occurrence of negative human-bear encounters. In some cases, one point corresponds to more than one attack. The map was created in QGIS software Within Europe, most attacks occurred in Romania (n = 131), followed by Slovakia (n = 54), Sweden (n = 28), and Finland (n = 17). The end of legal and widespread persecution, strict protection measures, and reintroductions have allowed brown bear Ursus arctos populations to recover and expand in many areas of North America and Europe. Currently, brown bears are estimated to exceed 200,000 individuals worldwide, most of which live in Russia (~100,000), whereas North America and Europe are home to around 58,000 and 15,400 brown bears, respectively. Our search resulted in a total of 664 attacks between 20 from the three main geographical blocks of the brown bear distribution: West (i.e. and hereafter North America, n = 183), Centre (i.e. Russia, Iran and Turkey, hereafter East, n = 190), for which at least information regarding the year was available (Fig. We also recorded an additional 61 cases of attacks from the published literature (4 cases in Albania, 11 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 9 in Macedonia, 2 in Nepal and 35 in Japan), which we did not include in the analyses due to the lack of sufficient information. In Europe, this kind of attack was only present in Fennoscandia (n = 16), where bears are often hunted with chasing dogs. No attacks occurred in European countries where bears are hunted using bait from a stand. Wiley Online Library requires cookies for authentication and use of other site features; therefore, cookies must be enabled to browse the site.Detailed information on how Wiley uses cookies can be found in our Privacy Policy.

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