White Wilderness - Carpathian Wolf Watch Project

Published

08/31/2018

Time Commitment

Part time (10-30 hrs/wk)

Duration

Short-Term (few weeks/months)

Address

Bratislava
Nízke Tatry National Park, Bratislava
BL

Slovakia

Description

Track wolves and lynx in the Carpathian Mountains and learn about the art of tracking, reading signs in nature and also about the plight of the mythic wolf. A rare opportunity to spend time in deep wilderness with expert trackers, wolf and lynx researchers & wildlife photographers in the midst of winter, when the wilderness is white and the tracks are clear.


You can join for 1 week up to 3 weeks in January and February of each year.


Individuals, groups and students all welcome.


While some environmentalists claim that the annual winter hunting season leaves less than 150 wolves in Slovakia, official game statistics list more than 2,000: a huge difference! And it's a similar situation with lynx. Are predators being hunted towards extinction, as the environmentalists say, or becoming too numerous, as hunters claim? The dispute shows the clear need for reliable, objective methods to estimate numbers of predators.


The White Wilderness project brings together international volunteers and local people, nature conservationists, foresters, landowners and hunters. Under the close supervision of experienced project staff, volunteers track wolves and lynx and collect samples for DNA analysis, which will allow us to determine the minimum number of animals in the area as well as to detect changes which could require urgent intervention.


Lying between the Tatra National Park to the north and the Low Tatras National Park to the south, the spectacular region of Liptov is a real treat for lovers of nature and the outdoors. Around 50% is covered by forests, which reach up to 1500m (5000 feet) above sea level. Beyond that is a zone of dwarf pine and higher still are alpine meadows. In the winter, much of the wildlife, including carnivores and their prey, move to the foothills and valleys to avoid the deepest snow, and it is here that most of our fieldwork will be focussed.


No special skills (biological or otherwise) are required other than the ability to communicate in English. However, you should be prepared to walk 10–20 km per day in hilly to mountainous terrain, sometimes on steep slopes. In winter months, snow, ice and sub-zero temperatures are likely to be encountered. It is your responsibility to have your fitness and physical condition checked by a medical and dental professional prior to departure. If you have an existing or previous illness/disability, which could affect your mental or physical condition during the conservation programme you must consult your doctor about your suitability to join the conservation programme and inform us. On some routes, snow shoes may be required and will be provided. Don't worry if you haven't used them before, it's not difficult and you will be given instruction and time to practice. If you are a competent cross-country or alpine skier and have your own equipment, feel free to bring it along.


For more details regarding pricing, scheduling and arrangements, please visit the main project page - http://www.workingabroad.com/projects/slovakia-wolf-volunteer

Fee Required

Benefits

  • Training Provided
  • Housing Available

Benefits

  • Groups
  • International Volunteers

How To Apply

aaron@workingabroad.com

If you are interested in joining this project to volunteer in Slovakia, you will need to fill out the online application form (you can also print it out and send it to us by post) – to secure a placement on the project, please complete and submit the form including two references and your deposit of £180. If for some reason, your application is declined, we would reimburse this deposit fully. However for those who are accepted, 25% of the full amount needs to be paid 14 days after you have been confirmed on the project, with the remainder (75%) to be paid two months before the start date. Once your place is confirmed, you will receive a pre-departure package with all detailed information on your project, the region, suggested items to bring etc.


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