PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, May 29 (Itar-Tass) — It is necessary to take into account how much salmon brown bears inhabiting coastal regions of the Kamchatka Peninsula need while distributing salmon catch quotas, the head of the region’s forestry and wildlife conservation agency, Natalia Yermolenko, said on Tuesday.
“The conflict situations between a bear and a man are inevitable, if we do not take certain measures,” she said noting that “first of all, it is necessary to try to define fishing areas and bear feeding areas at rivers.”
“It is necessary to take bears as the key salmon consumer,” Yermolenko said. “All surveys demonstrate that salmon and especially humpback salmon are the main food for bears for storing fat reserves. Whether a bear wakes up hungry or not directly depends on how much fish a bear will eat before starting hibernation.”
Experts say more than 13,000 tonnes of fish per season is needed for effective breeding population of brown bears on the Kamchatka Peninsula. Bear attacks on people and their food searching forays to populated settlements this spring show that the animal got not enough food last season.
“This is not normal that on Kamchatka a bear cannot get as much fish as he needs and that he goes to sleep hungry,” the Kamchatka region governor, Vladimir Ilyukhin, said noting that “we need to take more responsibility for preserving the balance of nature.”
The population of brown bears inhabiting Kamchatka totals around 17,900. Kamchatka’s brown bear is one of the biggest species in the whole family. A grown up male bear may be up to 3 meters long and weigh up to 700 kilograms.