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Monitoring predatory species of European significance in selected locations of the Natura 2000 syste

project no.: EHP-CZ02-OV-1-022-2015

Project partners:

Recipient: Hnutí DUHA Olomouc
Local project partner: Agentura ochrany přírody a krajiny ČR, Správa Národního parku České Švýcarsko, Správa Krkonošského národního parku Vrchlabí, Ostravská univerzita v Ostravě, Univerzita Karlova v Praze, Přírodovědecká fakulta

Project description:

The main aim of the project is to obtain credible information about the current spread and numbers of predatory species of European significance: the grey wolf (Canis lupus), the brown bear (Ursus arctos), the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) and the wildcat (Felis silvestris).

The main activities of the project will be performed as part of the structured monitoring:

  • Intense (deterministic) photo-monitoring of the Eurasian lynx in the selected locations of the Natura 2000 (N2000) system, with the aim of finding out the population size
  • Opportunistic photo-monitoring in the selected locations of the N2000 system, with the aim of documenting the presence of large predators and wildcats and possibly determine the minimum population size and their connection to other locations. In case of wolves, the photo-monitoring will be focused on documenting their reproduction (presence of a pack).
  • Monitoring of the signs that large predators stay in the locations, especially during winter, with the aim of obtaining samples for DNA analysis (droppings, fur), finding suitable marking spots for photo-monitoring and determining the index of relative population size of large predators
  • Random collection of information from the public, rangers or hunters in the locations of the N2000 system and its validation

Individual workstations and laboratories will then perform the following analyses:

  • Detailed identification of photographs obtained during the deterministic monitoring, identification and a CMR (Capture-Mark-Recapture) analysis which will allow to determine the accuracy of the estimated population sizes.
  • Genetic analysis of the non-invasively collected DNA samples (droppings, fur, urine), which allows confirmation of generic identity of disputable samples, determine the gender of the individuals and will bring more information of the genealogical structure of the population, spatial behaviour, the role of anthropogenic changes of the land, mortality and potential hybridization with the respective domesticated forms (in case of the grey wolf and the wildcat).
  • Morphometric analysis of the pictures capturing the wildcat
  • Habitat analysis of suitable N2000 locations where large predators appeared (lynx, wolf, wildcat)
  • Validation of all data obtained from the public, cooperating organizations, rangers and hunters
  • Integration of the results of the individual parts of the project, integration with data obtained from the neighbouring countries, analysis of the N2000 locations connectivity that are potentially suitable for appearance of predators, designing a transmittance model in order to increase the coherence of the N2000 system.

The project – in conjunction with the newly announced challenge – will bring forth new information on the occurrence of the species in question in the N2000 localities and strengthen the effect of their management and monitoring. The state protection of nature will therefore obtain high-quality data necessary to make decisions about the projection of these species and their possible management. The project will, apart from monitoring certain species – positively influence the way public perceives large predators.

Project realization:

The Krkonoše Mts National Park Administration started in summer 2015 monitoring of large carnivores using camera traps. They have been installed at selected locations (potentially suitable for capturing the occurrence of large carnivores) in 24 quadrates of 5 × 5 km size, covering the whole territory of the Krkonoše Mountains (with the exception of incomplete boundary squares on the ridges and densely populated quadrate in the foothills close to Vrchlabí). To reduce the risk of thievery in this period infrared strobes were mainly used. At the turn of October and November we switched to a major (deterministic) monitoring, where there is used exclusively white lightning. Location and a detailed characterization of installed camera traps is registered in a central database www.selmy.cz where they are continuously stored i nformation about the checks of camera traps.

Project schedule:

Start date: 1. 1. 2015
End date: 30. 4. 2016

Overall cost of the project is 6 935 071 Kč. Eligible expenses of the KRNAP Administration are 613,971 CZK and are fully covered by the project.

Supported by a grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway (http://www.eeagrants.cz/)
Programme CZ02 Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services / Environmental Monitoring and Integrated Planning Control / Adaptation to Climate Change

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