In Mašun, in bear core area in south Slovenia, we carried out an international workshop for training of Bear intervention group (BIG) members in the project area.
The first day of the educational training was carried out in the lecture room, where topics about large carnivore monitoring, conservation efforts, intervention methods and management approaches in Slovenia were presented to the participants from Slovenian, Croatian, Veneto, and Friuli-Venezia Giulia BIGs. We also discussed Protocol for Bear intervention groups, situations that BIG members confront during their work, and findings of bear telemetry studies.
In the second day of the training, a veterinarian explained thoroughly the procedure of narcotising and sedating live-captured individuals of large carnivores for research and intervention purposes. She presented proper treatment of individuals while narcotised, and proper handling and monitoring of their state of well-being until the moment of release. Afterwards, a practical demonstration of different methods of live-capturing of bears took place: we presented to the participants free-ranging method, capturing with Aldrich snares and use of Culvert trap.
We find it most important that bear intervention group members are well informed and prepared. Their role in intervening in case of emergency, when inhabitants find themselves in a conflict situation with bears, is of crucial importance for maintaining tolerance towards human-bear coexistence.