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Bēhance

European Brown Bear

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  • There are only 2000 European Brown Bears in Sweden. The species is listed on the IUCN Red List in the category 'least concern', but this does not tell the whole story. In fact, the isolated populations of Europe are under constant threat as their interests conflict with those of people. And of course they suffer the same problems as all large predators - fear and misunderstanding.

    Thankfully there is some excellent work being done in Sweden to understand the Brown Bear's behaviour and to protect the few populations that still exist today. The work in this portfolio could only have been done with the support of several dedicated individuals including Håkan and Ewa Vargas at Vargas Vildmarkslodge, Gunther and Andrea at Orsa Bear research and Marcus at Wildlife Sweden.

  • Canon EOS 7D + EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS Lens; 1/200 sec at f5.6, beanbag
  • Canon EOS 7D + EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS Lens; 1/250 sec at f5.6, beanbag
  • Canon EOS 7D + EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS Lens; 1/320 sec at f5.6, beanbag
  • Canon EOS 7D + EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS Lens; 1/80 sec at f5.6, beanbag
  • Canon EOS 7D + EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS Lens; 1/250 sec at f5.6, beanbag
  • Canon EOS 7D + EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS Lens; 1/200 sec at f5.6, beanbag
  • Canon EOS 7D + EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS Lens; 1/125 sec at f5.6, beanbag
  • Canon EOS 7D + EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS Lens; 1/125 sec at f5.6, beanbag
  • Canon EOS 7D + EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS Lens; 1/125 sec at f5.6, beanbag
  • Canon EOS 7D + EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS Lens; 1/100 sec at f5.6, beanbag
  • Canon EOS 7D + EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS Lens; 1/160 sec at f5.6, beanbag
  • This incredible little bear illustrates perfectly the difficulties these creatures face, and also how challenging it can be to photograph them. Not more than two years old, this infant is all alone. His mother and siblings were almost certainly killed by another bear. He now faces an uncertain future fending for himself and any encounter with a larger bear will be perilous.

    After 18 hours in a hide, sitting in perfect silence and total darkness, I was privileged to spend just a minute or so with this bear. In this image he looks directly at me having hard the shutter release of my camera, despite my best efforts to remain quiet. I was able to take only one more exposure after this; I would rather go without the shot than scaring such a remarkable creature in its own habitat.

    Thankfully this final image is my favourite.
  • Canon EOS 7D + EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS Lens; 1/100 sec at f5.6, beanbag
  • All images strictly © Ed Brazier 2011