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Feature story

Arrival of the wolf – simple tools, maximum efficiency

Overview

My name is Mr. István Haluska. I'm a hunter, sheep breeder and a forester. Between the mountains of Zemplén there is a little village named Komlóska, whose mountain pastures I use to feed my flock. Recently, wolf observations became more frequent in my area so I decided to take action.


Story by

István Haluska

Contact

Occupation

Livestock breeding

Location

Komlóska

Province

Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén, Hungary


Chapter 1

Starting point

There are three large carnivores living in Hungary: the bear, lynx and the wolf. Wolves are reproducing in the country although not in many places. One of these locations is the Zemplén mountains. At this point, the new visitors only rarely cause problems for livestock keepers. That being said, maintaining a strong prevention system is very important to keep the situation this way.

Chapter 2

APPROACH

My little farm under the Mountain Nagy-Papaj with a 4-hectare pasture provides an appropriate place for sheep outside of the grazing period. Security is guaranteed by my two really loyal, brave and die-hard “kuvasz” breed dogs. They constantly patrol up and down as sentinels, they “leave their signs” at the fence and in addition they always greet me with the warmest love, especially during their morning mealtime.

However, on one grim, snowy morning this warm reception had changed. When I arrived with my jeep as usual, the two dogs were not waiting for me and stamping around. Instead, they ran towards me from the mountain-side grass, answering my whistle. I did not pay much attention to this. I thought there must have been a stray dog or something on the other side of the electric fence.

During feeding my dogs always stay next to me, waiting for me to finish my work, and then leave to do their own duties. This time they had not even consumed their food properly when they started running back towards Nagy-Papaj, the mountain. The next time they greeted me with the same behaviour. They waited a little during feeding and then headed back, while looking back at me as if they were thinking “Come on!”. After I had finished feeding I went after them.

When I arrived at the edge of the electric fence I spotted that the snow, which was almost 20 cm deep, was nearly compacted to the ground in a 200 m section. I kept on investigating. To my great surprise I found huge marks on the other side of the fence in the same passage. They were wolf tracks as the National Park confirmed.

1/4

conventional electric fence

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Livestock guarding dog

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Blanca Berzosa

24.08.2018

This was a non-binding measure implemented by Fundación Oso Pardo in the frame of LIFE COEX (LIFE04NAT/IT/000144) in 3 provinces, including transboundary wolf population. In Portugal other beneficiary (Grupo Lobo) also carried out similar activities in contiguous region in the Provinces of Salamanca, Avila and Segovia. It specifically involved Farmers, Livestock risers, Administrative staff (government). It operated for 4 years (from 2004 to 2008) and received financial support from EU funds.Please reply to this post for more information or reach out directly to Mrs Jasna Jeremić.

Gavril Marius Berchi

24.08.2018

The project ended log time ago, and since than no projects dealing with wolfs were implemented in Croatia. This was a non-binding measure implemented by State Institute for Nature Protection in the frame of LIFE III CROWOLF in municipality / municipalities in the Gospić. It specifically involved Farmers. It operated in 2005 and received financial support from EU funds.Please reply to this post for more information or reach out directly to Christian Pichler.

Christian Pichler

24.08.2018

This was a non-binding measure implemented by Österreichischer Bundesverband für Schafe und Ziegen in municipality / municipalities in the Nationalpark Hohe Tauern, Kals am Großglockner. It specifically involved Farmers. It operated for 5 years (from 2012 to 2017) and received partial financial support from EU funds, Provincial goverments, Ministry of Environment, WWF.Please reply to this post for more information or reach out directly to László Patkó.

Zsofia Joo

24.08.2018

This was a non-binding measure implemented by Kuvasz-Őr! in the frame of László Patkó in a transboundary region in the North Hungarian Mountains. It specifically involved Livestock risers. It operated in and received financial support from Own funds, Private donors.Please reply to this post for more information or reach out directly to Dr LUDDENI Véronique.

Beatrice Jouenne

24.08.2018

www.polegrandspredateurs.org NGO working on nature protection/conservation. Thanks to livestock guarding dog, this project aims to support sheep breeders whose herds are victims of lynx attacks. An important step of the project is to learn breeders the educational protocol of dogs. During this project, we developed another protection tool: the multi-herd guarding dog. We educated a dog in order to place him one season after another with different farmers whose herds was attacked. This dog was effective immediately and stopped lynx damage. After this test, the Pôle Grands Prédateurs proposed to breeders to take one or two puppies to replace him. In this context, breeders had the experience of a livestock guarding dog, knew the benefits, and could better apprehend the arrival of a new dog on their farms. Since 2015, the Pôle Grands Prédateurs is no longer a breeding pole for livestock guarding dogs. The association continues its action of support to the sheep breeders by being a platform of discussions and putting in relation breeders who look for dogs and breeders who have puppies to place. We also take in charge directly pups placement. Besides, we organized a lot of communication actions around the theme of “livestock guarding dog as a tool of prevention against lynx predation”. We realized a documentary about this subject in the Jura Massif in 2015/2016. Since 2017, we organized projections and debates with this film for a large audience (general public, naturalists, elected officials, schoolchildren, breeders ...). This was abinding measure implemented by Pôle Grands Prédateurs in the frame of Assistance to sheep breeders – livestock guarding dog and personalized support in Sheep breeders from the French Jura Mountains in the French Jura Mountains. It specifically involved Farmers, Livestock risers. It operated for 8 years (from 2007 to 2015) and received partial financial support from Own funds, Other sources, Public funds (State).Please reply to this post for more information or reach out directly to Jean-Marc Landry.

Chapter 3

Outlook

As far as I know this was their first meeting with wolves - and in my opinion the “boys” passed their exam with an A+. Compliments to Béla Komlósi, breeder of this authentic, native Hungarian dog breed and to the Kuvasz-Guard Large Carnivore Conservation Programme for providing me with the dogs. My case proves that this breed is suitable and able to maintain security when faced with large carnivores.

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Arrival of the wolf – simple tools, maximum efficiency

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