On Monday, over 200 foresters participate in the counting of lynx and wolves in forests in Masuria. It is the first large-scale inventory of large carnivores in this region. The coordinator of the action, Adam Gełdon from the Spychowo forest inspectorate, told PAP that over 200 foresters are looking for traces of wolves and lynxes in the area of several hundred thousand hectares from morning to dusk.
Predators are counted simultaneously in 18 forest districts, including the largest forest complexes in Masuria - the Pisz Forest and the Napiwodzko-Ramuckie Forests. Carrying out the action in one day is to prevent the same clues from being counted several times.
The inventory will allow for an accurate estimation of the population of predators and the territories they occupy. Based on the traces in the snow, foresters will also assess the condition of these animals, the number of young specimens and even hunting techniques.
Previous observations show that Masurian wolves have a habit of chasing their prey onto the fence of forest crops, which makes it impossible for them to escape further.
Information collected during Monday's action will help to protect ecological corridors and will be used in the creation of hunting plans, which must take into account the presence and food needs of large predators.
Participants of the action drive cars along forest tracks along which predators move in winter. Only after noticing the traces in the snow do they follow the tracks. Thanks to this, it is possible to carry out an inventory in such large areas.
According to foresters, it is much easier to find traces of wolves, which are more numerous and mobile than lynxes. Wolf packs travel 21-23 km a day. The daily route of the lynx does not exceed 5 km, and in addition, the cat may spend several hours in the same place.
During the first inventory carried out on a smaller scale in 2011, it was estimated that at least 51 wolves and eight lynxes live in Masuria. The foresters hope that the number of lynxes has increased since then.
As part of the reintroduction of this species, three lynxes from Estonia were brought to Masuria last year. Probably two of them survived in the new environment. The foresters from Spychów also received signals that a female lynx with cubs had recently been spotted there.
"If we could confirm the information that we have here the so-called lynx family group, that would be an amazing success. In our area, lynxes rarely breed in the wild, ”assessed Adam Gełdon.
Since 1995, lynxes have been under strict species protection in Poland and, as endangered with extinction, have been entered into the Red Book of Animals. Foresters and environmentalists want to increase their number in Masuria to 20-40. The population of this predator throughout the country is estimated at 200 individuals.
source: PAP - Science in Poland