After Borko, who became a local star, known by everyone who lives in the region of the nature park ”Piva”, another bear is on the way to become famous in Montenegro! Now the locals living in the region of the National Park ”Durmitor” will have the opportunity to follow and learn about the habits of a bear which is actually their neighbor! Namely, on the night of 19th July, on the location named Grabovica within NP ”Durmitor”, our project team captured and equipped with the GPS collar a brown bear male (Ursus arctoc), weighing 148 kg and about 5 years old. This will be the second brown bear in Montenegro that is equipped with a GPS collar for telemetry tracking and whose movement and habits will be closely monitored to obtain data that will be the basis for improving the protection of this species and its habitat.
The project team, led by Dr. Slaven Reljić, from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (University of Zagreb), had significant assistance from the rangers from NP “Durmitor”, especially Mr. Milić Janjić called Bato, who was working for days on visiting and maintaining temporary feeding places and traps which were set, and in whose honor the captured bear is named – Bato.
In the very beginning, Bato the bear proved something that we all knew, that brown bears from our forests are intelligent and careful animals. Bato came to a temporary feeding place for five consecutive nights and ate food left by our project team, somehow managed to avoid the set traps or to even activate them without catching in it! Thus, our project team had to react several times to an activated alarm without finding a caught bear, but only the remains of food. So, we could see on video recordings from set camera-traps how skilled and cautious animal that is and how much its capturing and equipping with GPS collar is a difficult and complex process, which requires a lot of knowledge, patience and persistence.
Bato regularly sends data about his movement in hills of mountain Durmitor, giving us information about habitats he deems his territory thus making it easier for us to prepare the Species management plan, as well as his relatives from the Nature Park “Piva” and “Blidinje” – Borko and Vranac.