Roaming the temperate, broadleaf forests of the Cantabrian Mountains is a population of around 350 brown bears. Categorised as ‘Endangered’, the population requires crucial conservation support. The benefits of brown bear conservation ripple throughout the Iberian ecosystem, enabling the conservation of carbon-rich habitats.
Since 2017, The European Nature Trust has been supporting Fundación Oso Pardo in their mission to conserve this fragile population in the Cantabrian Mountains.
We support Fundación Oso Pardo’s Conservation Work
FOP are working to promote habitat connectivity between subpopulations. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Cantabrian brown bear population split into eastern and western subpopulations due to hunting and habitat fragmentation. The foundation is acquiring land where bear habitat is being restored. Networks of small forests are being created; plantations of cherry, apple and other fruit-bearing tree species are being planted with the help of local volunteers; roads and railways – problems for bear mortality – are being made safer and more permeable.
FOP technicians and scientists are researching the bears’ habitat requirements. Bear Patrols, with the support of local volunteers, are being deployed to survey populations, prevent poaching, and monitor the population’s response to climate change.
To enable coexistence, social attitudes towards the bear are being analysed through surveys and outreach projects. To achieve coexistence, FOP is providing environmental education to local communities.
Fundación Oso Pardo's Achievements
>150 poachers caught
>20 papers and books on brown bears published with FOP scientists
90,000 school children reached through education programmes
“In recent years our alliance with TENT has gone far beyond the financial. TENT has promoted our work with other international NGOs, benefiting our professional and interpersonal relationships.”
Director, Fundación Oso Pardo
TENT and Fundación Oso Pardo’s partnership
The European Nature Trust has an annual funding commitment to FOP’s conservation work. Through networking, events, media outreach, and film production, we raise the profile of the brown bear and the need for human-wildlife coexistence. TENT also facilitates media trips so that journalists and educators can better understand the life of the brown bear and the work of FOP in the community.
Play your part in the conservation of Spain’s brown bears
You can visit FOP’s project area via a trip to the Asturian Mountains through our partnership with Steppes Travel. Your visit will make a vital contribution to FOP’s conservation work, allow you to learn about the Asturian ecosystem with FOP's ecologists, and reconnect with European nature.