Česká verze

The extensive monitoring of large carnivores and wildcats starting in the Jeseníky Mountains

4.9.2015, Carnivores.cz

Friends of the Earth Czech Republic (Hnutí DUHA Olomouc)

Friends of the Earth Czech Republic (Hnutí DUHA) in co-operation with regional partners are searching in the wider area of the Jeseníky Mountains for evidence of the presence of large carnivores and wildcats. The partners of the project include the regional office of Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic - Administration of the Jeseníky Protected Landscape Area, the University of Ostrava, Lesy České Republiky (state-owned forestry enterprise) and the local chapters of the Czech Union for Nature Conservation "Šumperk" and "Jesenická divočina". In addition to tracking animals, the partnership of environmentalists, scientists and foresters will be installing camera traps at pre-identified locations which are by their nature attractive for the large carnivores.  The main objective is to provide proof of the presence of large carnivores and wildcats in the monitored area. Help with the monitoring will also come from the volunteer patrols which, starting from the end of autumn, will regularly set off to the hills of Jeseníky region.  The search is further assisted by the scientists from the University of Ostrava who will perform genetic analysis when samples of faeces or hair are found.

Experts assume that the Jeseníky Mountains and their foothills constitute a typical environment for the permanent occurrence of large carnivores and wildcats. The region still has continuously forested areas with many locations difficult to access due to rough terrain and numerous rocky ridges, which for now provide plenty of resting places for the carnivores. Also, it is assumed that there is an abundance of natural prey. "Unfortunately, we have no conclusive evidence about the size of the lynx population and where in the Jeseníky Mountains it currently occurs," explains Petr Šaj of the Jeseníky Protected Landscape Area.

A Habitat of large carnivores. Photo: Martin Míček

An important part of the project is the monitoring of occurrence signs of large carnivores which will take place mainly in winter when there is a snow cover. The aim of this part of the research is to verify the presence of large carnivores based on their tracks, obtain samples of faeces and hair for DNA analysis and find marking locations suitable for photo-monitoring. "Very important for our research is active public assistance. We will be glad to involve in our project anyone interested in large carnivores monitoring in the Jeseníky Mountains. We provide a three-day training; upon its completion, the participants will be able to objectively identify the occurrence signs of large carnivores in the field and under the expert supervision," says Jiří Beneš, project coordinator of the Jeseníky large carnivores monitoring programme, and he adds that the weekend training will take place in the Jeseníky Mountains at the end of November. He will be happy to provide further information and answer any questions at jiri.benes@hnutiduha.

In addition to the active monitoring, Friends of the Earth Czech Republic will be collecting and analysing information about accidental sightings and findings of occurrence signs. Any observations may be sent to stopy@selmy.cz.

"As a state-owned enterprise which is responsible for the management of large forest growths in Hrubý and Nízký Jeseník, we support the monitoring of large carnivores. These animals used to be an essential part of the ecosystem and the food chain from which they are currently missing. Proof of their presence in some locations would enable us to adapt our operations to their protection," says Ing. Tomáš Pospíšil, Director of the Regional Directorate of Lesy České Republiky in Šumperk.

Friends of the Earth Czech Republic organizes the monitoring of large carnivores in the wider area of Jeseníky Mountains as part of the projects "Monitoring of important European carnivore species in selected localities within the Natura 2000 network" and "Increasing public awareness for an active protection of biodiversity in the Czech Republic" supported by a grant from Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway. Similar activities will also take place this autumn and winter in other areas including the Krkonoše Mountains, Beskydy and Broumov region.

Contact: Jiří Beneš, Hnutí DUHA Olomouc, jiri.benes@hnutiduha.cz, +420 606 078 021

Translation from press release: Martina Dušková



Friends of the Earth are able to carry out projects on protection and monitoring of large carnivores thanks to generous support of individual donors – Friends of Large Carnivores. Please join us here.

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