Conservation of large carnivores, West Carpathians

The mission of Hnuti DUHA Olomouc (Friends of the Earth Czech Republic) is to protect the environment in Central and North Moravia and to involve the public in important environmental issues.

The main objective of the project is to protect populations of large carnivorous mammals – wolves, lynx and bears – in the area of the Beskydy and Kysuce Mountains on the Czech/Slovak border in the West Carpathians. The project will:

  • improve conditions necessary for coexistence between wild carnivores and humans using techniques such as electric fences around sheep pens and bear-proof bins
  • use ‘Wolf and Lynx Patrols’ to monitor populations and guard against illegal hunting and trapping
  • protect migration corridors from ongoing fragmentation through the purchase of land and replanting / regeneration
  • undertake a public awareness campaign using data collected

The Update

The project was successfully implemented between April 2012 and April 2014.  During this time, 500 field patrols took place to prevent poaching in important areas for large carnivores.  The organisation participated in the creation of a spatial plan of Jablunkov and Lidecko municipality in order that important wildlife corridors could be protected. Their (and others) concerns about R49 motorway across Vizovicke vrchy mountains, another important area of large carnivore occurrence and migration, led to the Ministry of Environment stopping the development.  Tree planting around Jablunkov has created a wildlife corridor connecting the two Carpathian mountain ranges of Slezske and Moravskoslezske.  Five bear proof bins and six electric fences used by farmers have reduced conflict with local communities, and images caught on camera traps have been used at numerous events to raise awareness of these important yet rarely seen animals

Image: Lynx. Image credit: Karel Borez