From our conservation holiday volunteering with lynx, wolves, bears and wildcats in the Carpathian mountains of Slovakia (

Great success on our first full survey day on Tuesday. All three teams found bear tracks! So, instead of hibernating, some of them are roaming around. Even at least one of the old ones, the so-called “King of Lubochnia valley” is active, as proven by a footprint of 22 cm width that Noro’s team of Angelika, Anne and Karl-Heinz found in Turecka valley. The bear weighs about 320 kg, Tomas told us.

Tomas took Gilli, Ed, Idan and journalist Chris to Lipova valley for a 16 km survey walk. Two camera traps were set up, one right at a lynx marking place. The steep shortcut they took back down to where the car was parked wasn’t managed in proper walking manner, though 😉

Most wolf tracks were found in Turecka valley. Noro’s team reported that they were surrounded by wolves in the beginning and by bears later on.

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About 35 recordings were put in the data sheets including also lynx and the black woodpecker – quite impressive.

Another exciting finding were very clear wild cat tracks in Krackor valley . Angela and Philip both claimed to be first at spotting them, but I think everyone on the team (Marina, Peter and myself) saw them at about the same time on the trail we were walking. We came along an active logging site, but the wildlife doesn’t seem to have vanished from this area. Lynx and bear tracks were found, as well as Hazel grouse footprints.

After finishing the surveys, we met at the Pod Lipami inn at the entrance to the valley, famous for its hot chocolate. It reminds more of a pudding than a drink topped with cream. Heaven after a day out in the snowy mountains.


From our conservation holiday volunteering with lynx, wolves, bears and wildcats in the Carpathian mountains of Slovakia (

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