LIFE Bears with a future project

hectares restored
tons CO2 eq captured
informed stakeholders

From October 2021 to March 2025, Tierra Pura Foundation is part of the LIFE Bears with a Future Project.

From October 2021 to March 2025, the Tierra Pura Foundation is part of the LIFE Bears with a Future Project "Improvement of key trophic resources and prevention of winter conflicts to conserve the Cantabrian brown bear in climate change scenarios" coordinated by the Brown Bear Foundation and with the support of the Biodiversity Foundation, the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, the Natural Heritage Foundation, the Junta de Castilla y León and the regional administrations of the Junta de Castilla y León and the Principality of Asturias. The project has a total budget of 2,580,000 euros, of which 75% is funded by the EU.

Different climate models predict a 15% decrease in precipitation and an increase in temperature of up to 4°C in the Cantabrian Mountains by the end of this century. Likewise, regionalised climate change scenarios for Spain for the high mountains predict that by 2040 maximum winter temperatures will rise by 2 °C.

Climate change affects the physiology and ecology ofthe brown bear, especially in relation to hibernation, food availability and fruit production of tree and shrub species.

Scientific literature establishes that brown bears will be more active during the winter, as hibernation time will be reduced, coinciding with a greater presence of active bears during the winter, recreational activities in nature will also increase, increasing the possibilities of encounters and interactions between bears and people.

On the other hand, in the Cantabrian Mountains, variations in feeding associated with climate change have already been recorded over the last few decades. Some species particularly sensitive to climate change, such as blueberries, have reduced their importance in the diet of Cantabrian bears, while other species, such as cherry trees and blueberries, seem to have increased their presence in the diet. Chestnuts, on the other hand, may be a key resource in the autumn period in many areas due to their more constant crop production and the possibility that climate change may favour their growth or fruiting in some specific situations.

The general objective of the project is to improve the adaptability of the brown bear to climate change in the Cantabrian Mountains.

The general objective of the project is to improve the adaptability of the brown bear to climate change in the Cantabrian Mountains, enabling them to achieve Favourable Conservation Status in the medium and long term. An ecosystem-based adaptation approach, promoting practices and solutions that most benefit the expansion of the bears’ trophic resources will be employed, together with measures to prevent conflicts between bears and humans.

The main expected results and impacts of the project will be:

1155 hectares of plantation of native trees and shrubs producing fleshy fruits (cherry trees, apple trees, blackthorn, etc.).

55 ha of plantation of chestnut trees grafted with indigenous varieties.

Restoration of 45 hectares of abandoned chestnut forests and land.

Signing of agreements with landowners for the plantation of copses in 190 hectares and collaboration agreements with at least 10 local administrations or social organisations

The project is estimated to fix some 3,000 tCO2eq per annum.

Project areas

The main conservation programmes are carried out in 8 areas of the Natura 2000 Network: Peña Ubiña, Caldoveiro, Montovo-La Mesa, Fuentes del Narcea, Degaña e Ibias and Somiedo in Asturias, Alto Sil and Sierra de los Ancares in León and Fuentes Carrionas and Fuente Cobre-Montaña Palentina in Palencia.

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We have a great opportunity to improve ecosystems and benefit future generations.

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