Promoting brown bear conservation across borders: the TBB-project at the Balkan Green Belt

An important step for the protection of the Dinaric-Pindos brown bear population: Despite complex political relationships, the Tripoint brown bear (TBB) - project and its partners established a transboundary protection network over the past two years.

Brown bear got recorded by a camera trap of the TBB-project. © PPNEA
Rescue of female brown bear Maja from an illegal snare trap in December 2023. © PPNEA
Installation of camera traps to record brown bears. © Callisto
Crossing measures to protect brown bears in Greece. © Ekosvest

Like in many parts of Europe, the habitats of brown bears in the border region of Albania, Greece and North Macedonia are under severe threat of continuous fragmentation caused by infrastructure projects and other human activities. 

The TBB-project identified critical points of habitat fragmentation in the project area. Recognising the urgency of the situation, a transboundary conservation network was established that engages local stakeholders and strengthens political cooperation between involved countries. By combining the forces of NGOs, local authorities and communities, prevention measures were set up and joint bear monitoring methods established. The project supported practical solutions and raised public awareness to foster the low-conflict coexistence of bears and humans in the region, implementing concrete actions such as emergency response activities (e. g. Bear Intervention Teams). 

As the project’s final activity and “Christmas gift”, in December 2023 a rescue operation was carried out in Albania, where a female bear had been illegally caught by a snare trap. With the help of the prospective emergency forces and an experienced team from Greece, the animal was rescued. The bear was then equipped with a GPS-collar and is being continuously monitored by the TBB team members. 

Even as the project draws to a close, the partners remain steadfast in their commitment to the long-term goal of population-based brown bear management in the region. This dedication ensures the endurance of the project's impact, safeguarding the future of the brown bear in the Balkans.


The TBB-project was implemented from April 2022 to December 2023 by its partners Callisto, Ekosvest, MES, PPNEA, and EuroNatur with the support of Fondazione Capellino.


For more information, please contact: 

Antje Henkelmann | EuroNatur - Stiftung Europäisches Naturerbe, Westendstraße 3, 78315 Radolfzell, Germany

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