Poster presentation 12th International Mammalogical Congress

Status of the brown bear Ursus arctos in Iran: Implications for poaching and human-bear conflict (#608)

Ali T. Qashqaei 1
  1. Plan for the Land Society, Tehran, Iran

The brown bear Ursus arctos is the largest carnivore species in Iran. In recent years, habitat destruction by anthropogenic activities and lack of natural foods are the main factors of high limitation for bears and makes levels human-bear conflict high. The data was collected to clarify the species' status and its conflict with humans, by news media and literature review during 2002-2016. In total, 68 brown bears were killed by shooting (n=51, 75.0%), poison (n=3, 4.4%), rail kill (n=2, 2.9%), road kill (n=7, 10.3%), sharp tools (n=2, 2.9%) and unknown factors (n=3, 4.4%) throughout Iran.  Bears killed in Iranian Caucasus, Alborz, northern Zagros, central Zagros, and southern Zagros were 10, 17, 12, 17 and 12, respectively. The most killed bears by shooting occurred in central Zagros, and two rail kills happened in Alborz. Also, southern Zagros, northern Zagros and Iranian Caucasus had two road kills for per region. The brown bears killed for trade of their pelt and protection of cultivated fruits, crops, livestock and beehives were in these regions. Also, traditional uses of fat, bile powder, and meat of bears in some disease treatments are another reason for killing them in Iran. The bear is a ‘Protected Species’ by the Iranian Department of the Environment, and killing, using fat, gall-bladder and other organs of bears for traditional cure is illegal in the country. The bear is listed by IUCN Red List as ‘Vulnerable’ in the Mediterranean Region, but U. arctos is on edge of extinction in the Middle East.