28 November 2019
From 25 to 28 November specialists from Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Serbia, Hungary, Romania and Ukraine, as well as Italy and Austria, met in Coltes in the Romanian Carpathians to start a scientific exchange about large carnivore monitoring. The international workshop was organized by WWF Romania and the Carpathian Convention Secretariat with the aim to set ground for a coherent and standardized monitoring system in the Carpathian region. The meeting was facilitated by LIFE EuroLargeCarnivores as one of the core actions within the project with the idea to identify and promote best-practices and encourage the development of joint monitoring plans on population level.
The 35 experts presented case studies and best practices in monitoring bear, wolf and lynx populations in their countries. These set the stage for a fruitful discussion about the best approach for monitoring methods and activities on the national and the regional level. "We want to harmonize the monitoring system, which is a complex issue starting from the definition of monitoring. How to deal with all that data produced with different methods, how to interpret that data? Who is responsible for the monitoring, public institutions or NGOs? Who will finance it? We need stability in financing and methodology. Hopefully we will be able to make some progress" , stated Bożena Haczek, from the Ministry of Climate in Poland. The participants agreed to properly address the raised questions in the next years and to establish a system that is capable to provide reliable scientific data about the distribution, population trends, connectivity and challenges for the species. A final report will compile results and recommendations from at least three regions of Europe with large populations of bears, wolves or lynx.
The participants also generated and discussed innovative ideas for two likewise important topics - ecological connectivity and transboundary cooperation to fight illegal killings. These issues will also be key points of an “Action Plan on Large Carnivores Conservation in the Carpathians”, a strategic document set up by the Carpathian Convention Secretariat and its Working Group on Biodiversity due to be adapted in October 2020 at COP6 in Poland. All three topics – monitoring, transboundary cooperation and fighting illegal killings – are steps towards coexistence and the implementation of the developed methods will be part of this LIFE project in the next years.