Carnivores conservation


Incorporating sources of uncertainty in large carnivore management and conservation in Romania

Project number: PN-II-RU-TE-2014-4-0058

Contract number: 149/1.10.2015

Funding body: Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding (UEFISCDI)

Budget: 542743 RON

Period: 2015-2017

Research team:

Viorel D. Popescu, principal investigator

Laurentiu Rozylowicz, senior researcher

Iosif Ruben, postdoctoral student

Iulia Miu, PhD student

Mihai Pop, PhD student

Aim:

The debate around large carnivore management is often contentious, and the case of Romanian carnivores is no different. Romania harbors a large portion of the European large carnivore populations (brown bear, gray wolf and Eurasian lynx), and hunting is the primary form of management. However, monitoring techniques that can yield statistically powerful inferences on population trends, and account for uncertainty in predicting carnivore densities did not penetrate in Romanian carnivore management. The goal of this project is to evaluate the scientific basis of large carnivore management in Romania, and produce guidelines for improving management practices.

Objectives:

The specific objectives of the project are:

  • evaluating large carnivore population estimates;
  • examining the relation between hunting quotas and population growth rates;
  • identifying predictors of human-carnivore conflicts and their mitigation.

By applying modern statistical techniques and ecological theory, this project will elevate the discussion around large carnivore management in Romania by providing the first scientific evaluation of hunting practices and existing census methods, propose novel techniques for large carnivore density estimation and monitoring, and identify predictors of human-carnivore conflict.

The project will also increase the scientific capacity and develop quantitative skills for young researchers to tackle difficult wildlife conservation issues in Romania.

Main results:

Articles:

Popescu V.D., Artelle K.A., Pop M.I., Manolache, S., Rozylowicz L. (2016), Assessing biological realism of wildlife population estimates in data-poor systems. Journal of Applied Ecology. doi: 10.1111/1365-2664.12660; Media coverage: PROTV News (interview broadcasted 30 Sep 2016), EpochTimes Romania

access the full article on Research Gate (click here)

Popescu V.D.Iosif R.Pop M.I.Chiriac S.Bouroș G.Furnas B.J. (2017) Integrating sign surveys and telemetry data for estimating brown bear (Ursus arctos) density in the Romanian CarpathiansEcology and Evolution, 111

Articles in review and preparation:

Pop, M.I., R. Iosif, I. Miu, L. Rozylowicz, and V.D. Popescu. In review. Identifying conservation priority habitats for Brown Bears by combined use of spatial habitat utilization patterns and systematic conservation planning in the Romanian Carpathians. Animal Conservation (submitted to Animal Conservation)

Iosif, I., Popescu V.D., Pop, M.I. Brown bear den characteristics and landscape setting in the Eastern Carpathians – in preparation for Ursus

Popescu V.D.Pop M.I., Human-wildlife conflict: predicting livestock and crop damage in the Romanian Carpathians  – in preparation for European Journal of Wildlife Research

Conference presentations:

Popescu VD, Pop MI, Iosif R, Chiriac S, Miu I, Rozylowicz L. Combining Resource Selection Functions, Space Use, and Systematic Conservation Planning to Identify Conservation Priorities for Brown Bears in the Romanian Carpathians. The 24th Meeting of The Wildlife Society, Albuquerque NM, USA, 23-27 September 2017 (http://www.twsconference.org/)

Iosif R, Pop MI, Miu I, Rozylowicz L, Popescu VD. Combining Resource Selection Functions, Space Use, and Systematic Conservation Planning to Identify Conservation Priorities for Brown Bears in the Romanian Carpathians. Biogeography of the Carpathians – The 2nd Interdisciplinary Symposium, Cluj-Napoca, 28-30 September 2017 (http://carpathians-biogeography2017.conference.ubbcluj.ro/)

Rozylowicz L, Nita A, Manolache S, Ciocanea C, Popescu VD. Reconsidering EU biogeographical regions – a network approach. 8th Biennial Conference of The International Biogeography Society, Tucson AZ, SUA, 9-13 January, 2017.

Iosif R, Pop MI, Chiriac S, Popescu VD. Seasonal habitat selection in relation with food-resource availability for brown bears in the Romanian Carpathians. International Zoological Congress of ‘Grigore Antipa’ Museum, Bucharest, November 2016 (www.czga.ro)

Pop MI, Popescu VD, Iosif R, Chiriac S, Sandu R, Furnas B. Combining sign surveys and home range data to estimate brown bear density in the Romanian Carpathians. International Zoological Congress of ‘Grigore Antipa’ Museum, Bucharest, November 2016 (www.czga.ro)

Iosif R, Popescu VD, Pop MI, Chiriac S, Sandu R, Furnas B. Combining sign surveys and home range data to estimate brown bear density in the Romanian Carpathians. The 23rd Meeting of The Wildlife Society, Raleigh NC, USA, 15-19 October 2016 (http://www.twsconference.org/)

Popescu VD, Artelle K, Pop MI, Manolache S, Rozylowicz L. Assessing biological realism of wildlife population estimates in data-poor systems. The 23rd Meeting of The Wildlife Society, Raleigh NC, USA, 15-19 October 2016 (http://www.twsconference.org/)

Pop MI, Popescu VD, Artelle K, Manolache S, Rozylowicz L. Assessing biological realism of brown bear population estimates in Romania. International Bear Association Conference, Anchorage, AK, USA, 12-16 June 2016 (https://goo.gl/4NahrG).

Scientific report:

Final Report, 2015-2016 (pdf, Romanian)

Interim report 2015-2016 (pdf)