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Marsican brown bear

Image of Marsican brown bear

The beech and Turkey oak woods on Pizi Mounts, the clearings of Mount Pizzalto and Rotella, as well as the higher and middle Orta Valley constitute the areas where it is easier to find traces of the Marsican Brown Bear.

This extremely rare and elusive species is difficult to observe directly in nature within the Park, so a watchful eye will search for scratches of claws on trunks, locks of hair on trees rich in resin – which bears use to scratch themselves –, as well as traces in mud or snow and, finally, the characteristic big excrement – often containing berries and fruits –: frequently the only signs that indicate the presence of one of the rarest mammal species in Majella National Park.

Here, since some years the brown bear has been the object of researches aiming to know the real situation of this species in the protected territory. Researches have been carried out particularly with non-invasive genetic monitoring, allowing to inform us about the sex of the different individuals and the minimum certain number of animals living within the Park, as well as to give information about the change of position of the bears. Along with these operations some protection efforts have been done to create more adequate environments for this species, both considering nutrition, tranquility and safeness, which this animal needs. These results were achieved both through the closing of the streets which entered the more frequented territories and to the management of forests and habitats aimed to providing the presence of natural food.

It is estimated that currently, in the Park, there are at least 3-4 steady entities, which in some occasions surely have remained within the Park also for winter hibernation, protected in the most faraway and less disturbed area.

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