San Glorio Ski Resort, Spain

Effects of San Glorio Ski Resort, Spain, on Brown Bears

20 December 2005

Re: Effects of San Glorio Ski Resort on Brown Bears

To the attention of the Minister of the
Environment of the Kingdom of Spain 
Ministerio de Medio Ambiente
28071 Madrid

To the attention of the Minister of the
Environment of the Autonomous
Region of Castille and Leon
C/ Rigoberto Cortejoso, 14
47014 Valladolid


Mr. Nicholas Hanley
Head of Unit on Nature and Biodiversity
European Commission
Boulevard de Triomphe 174, 2/16
B-1160  Bruxelles


Head of Natural Heritage and Biological Diversity Division
Council of Europe
F- 67075 Strasbourg Cedex  

Dear Sirs,

Available information indicates that the Cantabrian bears are probably recovering in numbers (as a result, among other possible reasons, of the intensive recovery efforts carried out in the last decades with substantial economic support by European, national and regional funding sources) but not expanding in range and are still highly threatened with extinction because of both the small overall population size (below 100 animals; in the Eastern nucleus on average only 1-3 females reproduce every year) and the isolation between the two sub-populations. The eastern Cantabrian bear population is estimated at 25-30 bears and appears to be expanding to the west, re-colonizing areas where reproduction events have been documented in the last years. According to the information provided to the IBA, the area where the new resort is going to be built lies in the western portion of the recorded Brown bear reproduction areas, where female bears with cubs were observed in 2005. Due to the importance of this location for these 2 globally significant bear populations, we ask you to review and consider the potential impacts of this action on bears before proceeding with the project.

Sincerely yours,

Harry Reynolds, President
International Association for Bear Research and Management