Conservation of the Brown Bear in Georgia

Donor: Alertis Foundation (the Netherlands)
Project Implementation Period: 2003 - 2006

Within the frames of this project NACRES used the radio-telemetry method for large mammals monitoring for the first time. Currently we monitor a brown bear attached with a radio-collar that lives on the territory of Vashlovani National Park. The bear is male, about 3-4 years old, the trajectory of its movement covers approximately 100 km2.

Now we can already enjoy our success. Everything did go well. We captured a bear safely, injected it with a tranquilizing needle and attached with a radio-collar. No complications followed. The bear feels good.

NACRES has been working on the brown bear conservation project for several years. The preparatory period for this project was very long as we faced a variety of problems. Since the method was fresh new, we had to disseminate information and make some explanations on the safety of this method. Besides, we were not provided with the necessary equipment, etc.

NACRES used the photo-traps for the research before the implementation of this method. During a year we collected considerable amount of materials on the territory of Vashlovani National Park. At present NACRES works on the materials gathered through the photo-traps.

As soon as the above-mentioned data are processed and evaluated, we will carry on our monitoring through the photo-traps again.

In spring 2006, when the first long expected bear was captured we started the monitoring through radio telemetry. We tested various lures (?copton?, which is solid remains of sunflower seeds after oil extraction; fruit, honey, fish, meat, etc.). Despite the fact that we found fresh bear tracks near the traps almost every day. The bear appeared to be very careful in the beginning and the lures remained untouched. After a while our bear was bold to find a secret how to destroy the traps without damaging itself and ate the lures. ?We fell in a despair, it lasted long. We were nearly to give up. And finally we used the last chance. We set two traps just one after another. And this trick worked. The bear was captured. It was our triumph.? When Bejan Lortkipanidze, the coordinator of the project went to have a look at the traps, he found a captured bear there. Everything was destroyed, but the bear was caught by its paw.

And what?s the end of this story? - Well, afterwards, as we?ve already told you, everything went well. Our bear seems to have no trouble. When it goes up the hill the radio-signal is spread to 10 km. But when it goes down to the narrow gorges, the signal is in many cases unavailable.

Currently NACRES organizes the field trips. We are also planning the long term field works. We are going to capture two more bears to fulfill our research. Within the frames of the project NACRES organizes trainings for the employees of the Vashlovani National Park. The success of this project dispelled all the rumors concerning the radio-telemetric research. The employees of the Vashlovani National Park are very interested in the implementation of this project and even applied NACRES for the recommendations.

The results of our radio-telemetric monitoring show that we have not obtained accurate information about bear movement on this protected territory so far.

NACRES monitoring continues.

For detailed information please contact Bejan Lortkipanidze, the project coordinator:



Contact Information: Mailing Address - 0179 Tbilisi-Georgia
Courier Address - 12a Abashidze Street, 0179 Tbilisi, Georgia. - Tel: (+995-32) 23 37 06 - Fax: (+995-32) 53 71 24
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All photos were taken by members of NACRES staff

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