26/04/2015

Monitoring and conservation of large carnivores in Europe

Door: Jennifer Dubrulle | Categorie: Europe, Wildlife

Jennifer Dubrulle, junior member of the Ius Carnivoris project, a Tilburg University research project on the role of law in conserving and restoring wolves, bears and other European large carnivores, participated in a Large Carnivore Monitoring project in the Beskedy mountains in Slovakia. The project aims to track large carnivores and accurately map their presence in numbers. It is essential to correctly estimate the population numbers as hunting quotas are based on these estimations. Overestimations mean higher quotas, more carnivores shot, which might endanger the population’s viability. Underestimations mean lower quotas, less carnivores shot, which might negatively impact economic/recreational interests of hunters.

Lynx caught on camera

Lynx caught on camera

The high of our trip was the capture of a (well-known to be shy) lynx on our camera trap. We also were lucky enough to see quite some fresh tracks of bears, wolves, lynx, fox and hazel grouse and see wild animals (wood mouse, three-toed woodpecker), their remains (roe deer prey) and scats (wolves and lynx). All of this is well-documented in the photo-album .

The low of the trip was feeling the reality of living where large carnivores live. Shy from human presence, they often live in remote, difficult accessible, areas. The transformation from a domesticated office cat to a wild lynx was physically challenging.

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