According to official estimates of the European Commission, the conservation status of brown bears in the Carpathians is that of vulnerable species, status primarily based on degradation of habitat due to socio economic development in Romania. Upward trend of the natural level of human intervention in the Carpathians, contribute to behavioral changes of individuals, respectively to occurrence of habituated bears, namely the intrusion of individuals within areas inhabited by humans. In such situations, the law in Romania, which transposes the provisions of the Habitats Directive, allows to apply for "exemptions" from the bear's conservation status, in order to enable the authority responsible for maintaining a low level of households and crop damage. In this context, the hunting action are the only tool available currently in a position of authority to manage human-bear conflict. Generally, the management of human- bears conflict were reagent handled, problems being managed after they occur, assuming shooting the bears involved. In the long run this approach was found to be inefficient because a bear extracted from the population is replaced, in a shorter or longer periods of time, by another individual. In this way the correct approach would be to identify and remove sources of food as the main attraction of bears in habituated areas.
Since in the socio-economic Carpathians this approach of conflict prevention is difficult to achieve in a relatively short time, creating a team called RAT - Risk Assessment Team, was considered appropriate to support the efforts to mitigate conflicts. RAT team role is to provide support to brown bear management authority, fund managers and local people, in wildlife management actions to mitigate conflicts and reduce risk of intrusions created by individuals of bears the spaces inhabited by people. Through specific actions, RAT team aims to identify the context of the emergence of a conflict, to monitor progress, and to propose effective solutions to the authorities cases particular cases which will be reported in the LIFE08/NAT/RO/000500 project implementation area, respectively in Vrancea, Covasna and Harghita Counties. RAT team does not intend to become a team intervention, meaning for that provided also in the Action Plan for the brown bear in Romania made in 2005, but assumes the role of analyzing a given situation and to develop technical documents supporting the intervention, and application of preventive measures, translocation or harvesting (shooting) of a particular exemplar of a bear. RAT team aims to act promptly to the requests came from the territory, the evaluation of a conflict following to be accomplished in a relatively short period (from 48 hours up to 10 days) to allow the authorities to act in a timely manner.
The RAT will work assuming that once the inhabited bear identified human settlements as a source of easy food, its behavior will be quickly alter, so it must be identified as possible it can the history and the behavior of a particular individual, and the solution must be fixed in time.
Principles departing concept RAT teams are:
• human safety is always priority to the protection of bears
• damage and conflicts should be kept to a minimum by prevention
The specific action, activity RAT is to:
• Reduction the cases where the solution is the killing of bears, by promoting alternative measures.
• Reduce the current level of conflict and damage.
RAT team has not as objective the analysis of situations in which one person was attacked by bear in the organized huntings or in situation in which a person was attacked by a bear in the forest that represents the bear habitat. If necessary, at the request, RAT team can participate in monitoring the area and bear identification and in analysis of the context in which the incident occurred, providing equipment and personnel.