Next Webinar: Large Carnivores in Transboundary Parks

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Large Carnivores in Transboundary Parks

During centuries, European large carnivores (including the brown bear, wolf, lynx and wolverine) suffered dramatic declines in numbers and distribution. Human activity, habitat loss and the decrease of prey, pushed these species to the very remote areas of Europe. However, the situation is shifting. Due to the improvement of habitat conditions and prey availability, backed by protective legislation in many European countries, the populations of large carnivores are stable or indeed growing.

The predatory nature of these species has pushed them to trespass the political boundaries established by humans in the search for better conditions to thrive.

In fact, nature knows no borders, and the expansion of the populations in new areas might trigger conflicts and the establishment of control measures that might compromise their existence. With the presence of large carnivores increasingly more common, “we need to learn how to coexist!”

To start with, the collection of reliable scientific data, the provision of relevant population estimates, and a common understanding of large carnivore’s conservation status at national and population level is the basis to make sound management decisions.


Why transboundary cooperation is needed

Large carnivore’s home range is extensive, and as such, they require large areas to live. These areas often cross intra and international borders and occupy territories with different management policies. The management of these species must be planned on very wide spatial scales to be effective, and it is imperative that a good coordination exists between the different administrations involved.

Within the network of EUROPARC Transboundary Parks, there are several examples of cooperative work for the monitoring some of these species. In this webinar, we will hear from 2 Transboundary Areas how they are jointly working for monitoring the Eurasian lynx and the brown bear populations and will get insight from FACE – the European Federation for Hunting and Conservation – about their monitoring system in Scandinavia.

This webinar is a joint organisation with the EU Platform on Coexistence of Large Carnivores and People. Together we seek to find ways to mitigate conflicts between people and large carnivores and promote successful measures of coexisting. More information on the EU Platform can be found on the website

Participation is free, but registration is needed! All participants are most welcome to share their views and direct their questions to the presenters. After the presentations, there will be a live Q&A.

Case Study 1) Transboundary research on the ecology of Eurasian lynx and its ungulate prey

by Ludek Bufka, Šumava National Park (CZ)

In the Bohemian Forest Ecosystem (BFE) as in most of Europe, lynx became extinct in the 19th century and nowadays’ “Bohemian-Bavarian-Austrian” lynx population originated from a relatively small number of animals that were reintroduced in the 1970s (Germany) and 1980s (Czech Republic), in the area which is now covered by the Bavarian Forest and Šumava National Parks.

At present, this lynx population is stagnant and this is mainly caused by high, mostly anthropogenic mortality outside of protected areas (traffic, poaching). Outside of protected areas lynx are often persecuted due to competition with hunters for ungulate prey (namely roe deer and red deer), and bad attitudes towards the lynx are often caused by wrong „myths“ about their habits. Therefore, between 2005 and 2012 the park authorities set up a monitoring plan for lynxes, roe deer and red deer by means of GPS telemetry to create evidence-based knowledge about lynx time-space behaviour, predation and prey consumption rates.

Case Study 2) Non-invasive genetic monitoring of the Pasvik-Inari-Pechenga brown bear population using systematic hair-trapping

by Snorre Hagen, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research – NIBIO (NO)

The trans-border brown bear population of Pasvik-Inari-Pechenga (Norway-Finland-Russia) has been monitored using genetic analyses of faeces collection since 2005. In addition, in 2007, 2011, and 2015 hair traps were placed out in the area to collect hairs for genetic analysis.

The objective was to determine more precisely the minimum numbers of bears in the area, as hair-traps can be placed out systematically and are successful in sampling also more elusive and shy individuals, such as female bears. A trilateral hair trap methodology that will be repeated in 2019, using the exact same methodology as in 2007, 2011, and 2015, to make a direct comparison of the results from all the 4 study years, covering a time period of 12 years.

How to join?

Webinars are open not only to EUROPARC members – but to everyone with an interest in Protected Areas. Participation is free but registration is necessary. Register here.

You can join in from anywhere: you will just need a device with internet connection. EUROPARC webinars are held in English and participants have the chance to join the discussion with the invited speakers, at the final part of the webinar. NOTE: Please make sure you have the latest JAVA version, you can run a check to the webinar by following this link: 

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