PROTEST AND PETITION

Mismanagement and excessive hunting of the Carpathian Brown Bear (Ursus arctos) over the past 14 years have led to a tragic decline in the population in Romania.

From a stable and viable population of 7,780 individuals in 1989, only 1,800 2000 survive today. Illegal and barbaric killing methods, sanctioned under the bloody Ceausescu dictatorship, and prohibited by European laws and international conventions, are still widespread today and are tolerated by the authorities. Romania is a signatory to the respective international conventions; but there is pervasive corruption among the responsible authorities and the pursuance of personal financial interests in the short term is more important than conservation. Unless something is done it is probable that, by the time that Romania accedes to the European Union, the Romanian Brown Bear population has become, or is on the verge of, extinction.

We therefore urge the European Commission and members of the European Parliament to work together with the competent institutions of the Romanian Government to implement urgent and effective measures to stop the illegal hunting of the Brown Bear and other mammal predators. It is in the common European interest to ensure that Romania brings its rich natural biodiversity as intact as possible into the European Community and to ensure the survival of endangered species for forthcoming generations.

In the hope that you, together with the Romanian and international news media, can contribute to the conservation of this fine animal.

In support of the Aves Foundation campaign www.aves.ro.

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