The European bear population, including western Russia, is relatively large (55,000 individuals) and occupies a large range. Overall, the population trend is believed to be stable. In the Carpathian area the population is small (<10,000 mature individuals) and all individuals are part of the same subpopulation. The population has been stable in the recent past, although there are concerns that it may be declining slightly at present as a result of infrastructure developments and other threats. The population here was classed as vulnerable by IUCN due to the socio-economic developments in Romania that have an influence on bear population on medium and long term. Another threat could be poaching and hunting, annually, in Romania up to 250 bears being hunted (about 3% of the estimated population). The Carpathian Mountains population is the second largest in Europe. Recent estimates of the Romanian population indicate that in Romania about 7.500-8.000 bears occur, the population trend being stable. The highest bear densities are found in the areas of Brasov, Harghita, Covasna, Mures, Bistrita, Arges, Vrancea and Sibiu counties (central part of the Romanian Carpathians). Several areas (corridor between Apuseni Mountains and the main ridge of Carpathians, Prahova Valley, southern part of Carpathians – close to Danube) have started to be affected by isolation processes, but there is still connectivity within the entire Romanian Carpathian population.
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