This infra-red camera trap pictures shows a brown bear and a wolf having a stand-off at a feeding site in Tara National Park in western Serbia. Feeding bears is a common traditional management strategy in southeastern Europe, intended to keep the bears in the forest and out of trouble with villages, as well as facilitating bear census, and in some countries also used for hunting (although bears are protected in Serbia). The ecological impacts and overall utility of bear feeding have never been studied. It is clear that the feeding sites are used by a range of species, including bears, wolves (in cases where meat is used) and wild boar.
Text: John Linnell / Photo: Milan Paunovic