Česká verze

What we do

Raising public awareness

Our aim is to provide people with accurate information on large carnivores and dispel traditional myths which lead to unreasonable fears. At the same time, we attempt to address potential real problems related to the presence of large carnivores in the human-dominated landscape and offer effective measures for preventing them. By doing so, we hope to increase people’s acceptance of the fact, that top predators belong to our nature and can share it with us.

School children making a cast of a bear footprintPrinted information materials on large carnivores

Field monitoring

Accurate information on the population status and ecology of large carnivores helps us to propose more effective programmes for their conservation. We use non-invasive methods of data collection, such as snow tracking and camera trapping. The monitoring is primarily carried out by our expert field workers and volunteers of “Wolf and Lynx Patrols”, but we welcome any input from hunters, foresters, as well as the general public and also cooperate with state conservation authorities and other environmental NGOs.

Group of volunteers monitoring occurrence signs of large carnivoresVolunteer installing a camera trap

Preventing poaching

By their regular visits to the areas with the presence of large carnivores, the volunteers of “Wolf and Lynx Patrols” discourage potential poachers. They also report any illegal meat baits.

Working with hunting associations

Traditionally, a negative attitude towards large carnivores exists among Czech hunters who tend to see wolves, lynx, and bears as a competition and threat to game animals. However, many hunters are starting to appreciate the importance of top predators in the ecosystem. We strive to work together with local hunting groups whose experience can be an asset to our own conservation work. Their help is invaluable in the monitoring of kills made by large carnivores. Such monitoring, in turn, can provide more accurate information to reduce gamekeepers’ grudge against large carnivores.

A presentation for members of hunting associationInspecting remains of a deer killed by a large carnivore

Protecting wildlife corridors and habitats

We take part in decision-making processes and public consultations, submitting comments on development projects and land-use planning in order to preserve and restore significant migration corridors used by large mammals. With the help of volunteers and support of many small donors, we are planting trees in the wildlife corridor near Jablunkov, ensuring the long-term connectivity in the Western Carpathians.

Ecoduct across the highwayVolunteers planting trees

Another major threat to large carnivores is the density of transport infrastructure. Roads and railways intersect important habitats and disrupt migration corridors. Many animals die trying to overcome such obstacles. Friends of the Earth CZ is one of the organizations involved in the international project TRANSGREEN which aims to develop environmentally-friendly and safe transport network in the Carpathians. Based on the data we collect on the movements of large carnivores, we suggest locations of ecoducts and other construction features to prevent collisions and reduce the pressure of infrastructure on wildlife

Working with farmers

One of the challenges of large carnivore conservation is preventing or diminishing potential human-wildlife conflict. We offer free advice to farmers on the most effective measures to protect their livestock against the attacks of large carnivores, wolves in particular. When predators start to return after the long period of absence, people need to re-adjust to the new situation. The experience from Slovakia and other countries show that the combination of electric fences and use of shepherd dogs is the most effective solution. We provide practical information and help with the implementation of such methods, including free loans of electric fencing. We also offer legal advice in relation to damage claims and have drafted the amendment of legislation simplifying the processing of claims.

Sheep inside the protective fencingA shepherd dog protecting a herd of goats

Working with local authorities

Support of people who share the space with large carnivores is crucial. One of the issues where we cooperate closely with local authorities is the waste management in order to minimize the human-wildlife conflict, particularly in the areas with the presence of bears. When the bears get attracted to food source associated with people they often become a nuisance and potential danger for humans. We can avoid such situation by proper management.

Overflowing waste containerA bear trying to get into a locked waste container

International cooperation

Conservation of large carnivores requires Europe-wide transboundary approach. We are cooperating on projects with environmental organizations in neighbouring countries. With our Slovak partners, we are opposing the legal hunting of wolves and bears in Slovakia and have supported Friends of the Earth Norway in their fight to save Norwegian wolves. At the beginnning of 2017, we have become the 50th member of European Rewilding Network (ERN) and joined the project for green infrastructure in the Carpathians TRANSGREEN.


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