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Ochrana přírody 1/2013 12. 5. 2013 Výzkum a dokumentace Tištěná verze článku v pdf

Kalaš M.: The Past and Current Brown Bear Distribution in Northwestern Slovakia

v severozápadnej časti Slovenska v minulosti a dnes

autor: Michal Kalaš

Kalaš M.: The Past and Current Brown Bear Distribution in Northwestern Slovakia

In Slovakia, the Brown Bear (Ursus arctos) is protected by the national law as well as by the European Union legislation.

Its numbers have been increasing in the country including the Malá Fatra National Park (MFNP. In the late 1970s, the Brown Bear population was estimated at 17–18 individuals in the MFNP while in 2012 65 bears were found there. Despite general increasing in the Brown Bear abundance in Slovakia, the distribution range of the large carnivore has not been significantly changing. On the contrary, its sporadic occurrence, particularly in the Javorníky Mts. and Biele Karpaty/White Carpathians Mts., is less common than in a short time ago. At first glance, the unfavourable fact would be caused by Brown bear hunting which has been permitted under certain conditions in Slovakia since 1962. More detailed analysis of the data related to regulatory and protective hunting and of past and current population size shows that the above relationship seems unlikely. In 1969–2012, at least 164 Brown bears were legally killed in the Malá Fatra Mts., Kysuce region, the Strážovské vrchy Hills and a part of the Horná Orava/Upper Orava region, of them up to 59% were killed in the Krivanská Fatra Mts. More likely, the reason why the Brown bears distribution range limit has not been shifted more to the west is a landscape character and structure. The Malá Fatra Mts., Strážovské vrchy Hills and Kysucká vrchovina Highlands foothills with rich and available food provide the Brown Bear with totally new suitable habitats. On the distribution ranges edge, poaching, road and railroad traffic and unsuitable infrastructure development, destroying original dispersal corridors are main threats to these remarkable animals.