Most of the main part of the 24 km long Lubochňa valley was surveyed on Thursday. Gilli, Idan and Ed started at the very end together with Noro and worked their way downwards, dipping into smaller side valleys as they went along. Close to a rock providing a perfect vantage point, they found a lynx marking place, collected samples for DNA analysis and set up a camera trap. There is a good chance of a lynx revisiting what looks like a favourite place. They also found very clear otter trails around a small lake (see picture), a first on this year’s species list. Other than that, they recorded evidence of wildcat, wild boar and pine marten. By the end of the day, their odometer reading was 14 km.
Angela, Phil and Peter started mid-valley towards Lubochňa village. Right opposite the starting point close to a house, they found their first wolf tracks, then more crossing the main road as they went along. Past the National Park boundary, they spotted bear tracks on a flat area stretching out for about 100 m towards a river. Following them, they could discern that one big and two small individuals must have walked together. The track then led them into some small bushes and trees, where they discovered remains of a very old kill and lots more bear tracks all over the place. Another promising spot for a camera trap? Tomas will go and check out this location soon. Remarkably, this exciting discovery was made only a few hundred metres away from the first houses of Lubochňa village.
Team three tied a record of finding wolf tracks in Lipová valley. On their 18 km loop Anne, Angelika, Karl-Heinz and Marina found a nearly eaten carcass of a young deer, several wolf tracks of up to five individuals, as well as a lynx trail. They then set up a camera trap in a place where lynx and wolf have been seen before. They were late for the hot chocolate at Pod Lipami but will make up for that today, I am sure. 😉
From our conservation holiday volunteering with lynx, wolves, bears and wildcats in the Carpathian mountains of Slovakia (http://www.biosphere-expeditions.org/slovakia).