This action aims at using specific quantitative and semi-quantitative indicators in order to evaluate the ecosystem functions through a fine scale survey of the targeted species population and distribution status and trends in the project area.
Data collection on bear population levels and trend indicators as well as on distribution status will be achieved in the project area through systematic recording of signs of bear presence and activity such as: faeces, footprints, tree marking, presence of females with young. Mortality cases will also be thoroughly monitored and evidenced. Data will be collected through regular field surveys using a standard sampling protocol over the network of forest roads and major paths in order for results be comparable through time. This will also allow the evaluation of the reproductive levels of the targeted population as indicated by the number of females with cubs-of-the-year, which represent approximately 10%-12% of the overall minimum population (for cross validation with the results/outputs of action A.2), as well as their denning sites. A refinement of the population levels estimation in the project area will be achieved through field collection of biological material (hairs, faeces) and a second cycle of population genetic analysis in order to be able to compare data between output from action A2 and action D5.
This action will also function as a general index giving the possibility for adjustments and combinations among actions dealing with the targeted species in the best possible synergic way in order to optimize/maximize the final expected result(s).