Cooperation with other similar projects and knowledge exchange is important for a successful implementation of any project. Currently there are many project that are dealing with large carnivores in Greece, especially with bears and with human-bear coexistence. LIFE PRIMED, LIFE ForOpenForests, LIFE NATURA THEMIS, LIFE AmyBear and LIFE SAFECROSSING are just some of the project we visited at the end of May.
We exchanged information about our projects in Slovenia and Greece and our hosts showed us their solutions for mitigating conflicts on the field. They showed us high fences on the highway that are preventing wildlife crossings, and the underpasses that the animals – including large carnivores – are using. Representatives of Callisto organization presented us some repellents that drive away bears from settlements and few locations where they successfully trapped bears. We also met with a sheep and goat herder that uses livestock guardian dogs for preventing large carnivore attacks on his herd. He uses a Greek breed of livestock guardian dog that is bread in the breeding center, managed by the NGO Arcturos. This organization is also responsible for operating two wildlife sanctuaries for bears and wolves. We also visited a village, where just one day before a brown bear dug in the village dumpsters. They equipped the dumpster with a mechanism for deterring bears: pepper spray in the mechanism is activated, when pulling the bait.