Česká verze

Wolves return to Beskydy after years of absence. Nearly a dozen of lynx and one bear were also recorded

The 2018 large carnivores monitoring – joint press release of the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic, Friends of the Earth Czech Republic (Hnutí DUHA), and the Administration of the Kysuce Protected Landscape Area

12.4.2018, Friends of the Earth Czech Republic (Hnutí DUHA), Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic (AOPK ČR), Administration of the Kysuce Protected Landscape Area

After nearly two decades, a wolf pack returned to the forests at the Czech-Slovak border. It was confirmed during the systematic monitoring of large carnivores carried out by Hnutí DUHA and the Beskydy PLA Administration (AOPK ČR). The presence of three wolves was repeatedly documented by camera trap images and snow-tracking throughout the winter. Rarely individual wolves also appeared in the northern part of the Moravian-Silesian Beskydy and the Silesian Beskydy. Camera traps also revealed that at least eleven adult lynx, five lynx cubs, and one brown bear are also among the inhabitants of the Beskydy and Javorníky Mountains [1].

Photo: Camera trap of Vlado Trulík

The occurrence of large carnivores in the Beskydy Protected Landscape Area was also confirmed by the 34th annual census. The monitoring was organized by the Beskydy PLA Administration - the regional office of Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic. About 75 professionals and trained volunteers participated in the monitoring. They also surveyed territories adjacent to the protected landscape area, such as Jablunkovské Mts., Silesian Beskydy, Vizovice Hills, and White Carpathians). At the same time, the administration of the Kysuce PLA organized a large carnivores monitoring on the Slovak side of the border with the help of the civic society Karpatská divočina (Carpathian Wilderness) and about 50 participants. The findings obtained by the means of snow tracking were combined with the camera trap data provided by Hnutí DUHA.

A wolf in Javorníky

Wolves in Javorníky

 

"We had information about a female wolf in the Javorníky Mountains throughout the last year thanks to the intensive year-round monitoring of large carnivores we are carrying out. In the autumn, the female was joined by two more adult wolves and they now form a small pack which moves all over Javorníky from the Slovak town of Makov to Pulčín in Moravia (Czech Republic). We will continue to closely monitor the wolves also in next months. We also welcome any information on large carnivore sightings and occurrence signs from the public at e-mail stopy@selmy.cz," says Michal Bojda, a field worker of Hnutí DUHA.

"The confirmation of wolf population presence at the Czech-Slovak-Polish border is of great importance for the protection of the species. There seem to be several reasons for this positive trend. One is the year-round protection of wolves in most of the area covered by the Kysuce PLA. No wolf was legally killed during the 2017-2018 hunting season in the Kysuce PLA or adjacent large protected territories (Malá Fatra NP and Horná Orava PLA). Another reason is the year-round protection of wolves in Poland and the Czech Republic. Among other things, we welcome the impact of wolves as effective predators. Their importance in the regulation of ungulate populations is indisputable; even more so now that the African swine fever (ASF) was discovered in nearby Moravian regions," explains Peter Drengubiak, a zoologist from the Kysuce PLA Administration.

Zoologist Dana Bartošová from the Beskydy PLA Administration said: "Although no damage by wolves was reported in Beskydy last year, we need to take into account the permanent presence of wolves, bears, and lynx in our mountains. Large carnivores play a unique role in the forest ecosystem - they help to maintain a natural balance.  Wolves reduce the populations of large ungulates and wild boars that cause significant damage to foresters and farmers. Our landscape benefits from both large carnivores and livestock. We are dealing with a difficult task to allow them all to live together. That is why the government pays for damage caused by wolves and financially supports preventive measures for the protection of livestock. At the Beskydy PLA Administration, we offer help to the farmers affected by the repeated attacks of large carnivores by lending them electric fencing for the effective protection of their animals [2]".

"Comparing the recorded occurrence sings with the data from camera traps installed by Hnutí DUHA, we established that at least 11 adult and 5 young lynx live in the protected areas of the Beskydy Mountains and the Kysuce; this includes animals that live mostly on the Slovak side of the mountain ridge [3]. Our camera traps also confirmed the presence of lynx in the northern part of the White Carpathians this winter. Unlike in the previous years, the lynx were not recorded in the Veřovické Hills; their numbers in the central Beskydy Mountains were also lower this year. The decline is due to the death of two female lynx and their cubs during the last year," said Miroslav Kutal, the coordinator of the large carnivores monitoring from Hnutí DUHA Olomouc.

Rufus the lynx in November 2017

 

We often record sudden and permanent disappearances of individuals from locations where they had been regularly observed; this indicates that the greatest threat to the lynx in the Beskydy Mountains continues to be poaching, followed by the road infrastructure. Conservationists are conservationists are concerned that the two females found last year were just the tip of the iceberg. We have known for a long time that some lynx just disappear without a trace; unfortunately, they are often young promising animals.

The occurrence of the bear was not confirmed during the winter. The animal only appeared on the camera trap images at the end of March. It means that at least one bear lives and hibernates in the Javorníky Mountains for the last three years.

The results of monitoring will be entered into the central database of Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic and will be used in the nature conservation policy and decision-making. The Administration of Beskydy PLA would like to thank all the participants - the employees of Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic and Kysuce PLA Administration, the volunteer guards of the Beskydy PLA, and the members and volunteers of Friends of the Earth CZ (Hnutí DUHA) - for their invaluable help. Hnutí DUHA also thanks to all foresters and farmers who reported sightings of large carnivores throughout the winter.

Contacts:

Dana Bartošová, the regional office of Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic - Beskydy PLA Administration, tel: (+420) 607 837 854, e-mail: dana.bartosova@nature.cz

Miroslav Kutal, Friends of the Earth Czech Republic (local organization Hnutí DUHA Olomouc), tel: (+420) 728 832 889, e-mail: miroslav.kutal@hnutiduha.cz

Michal Bojda, Friends of the Earth Czech Republic (local organization Hnutí DUHA Olomouc), tel: (+420) 734 233 993, e-mail: michal.bojda@hnutiduha.cz

Peter Drengubiak, Kysuce PLA Administration, tel: (+421) 903 298 429, e-mail: peter.drengubiak@sopsr.sk

Karolína Šůlová, Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic, tel: (+420) 724 102 406, e-mail: karolina.sulova@nature.cz

Notes:

[1] Camera trap images are available here

[2] See www.navratvlku.cz for more information on livestock protection and damage compensations.

[3] The permanent presence of lynx in the central Beskydy was confirmed by the fresh and older occurrence signs (tracks, scat, urine, hairs, prey remains). It was also recorded in the northeastern part of Beskydy near the Slovak border, and after several years of absence also in the Vsetín Hills. In Javorníky, the lynx were confirmed on the main ridge near the Slovak border and on the Slovak side of the mountains.

 

 

 

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created by Michal Kandr