After survey day four, the expedition freezer is almost spilling over with scat samples.
Peter, Sylvia, Siggi, Sita and Sebastian went to the very south of Lower Saxony on Thursday and completed survey walks in three groups. No findings there so far, but we have only started to investigate a small part of this potential wolf territory.
Anja, Beate, Dorit, Latika & Mark met Theo again in “his” area. Split into two teams, they recorded a total of 21 scats over 28 km walked.
The overnight team brought back two bin bags full of samples and a huge file of completed datasheets. Eleven more DNA samples were put in ethanol. Late returns from the far-away survey areas, prolonged hand-over procedures with Peter due to the large number of findings, as well a countless number of pictures to be processed had us postpone our review until after dinner.
It was during the review that Jelle reported to the team in detail the very first wolf sighting during the expedition (in Luechow Danneberg district). A roe deer kill had been reported to wolf commissioner Kenny in the morning before the overnighte team headed out to his patch. Walking quietly on a forest path, Jelle and Malika noticed a movement no more than 20m away in the undergrowth and in about the same moment realised that it was quite a big wolf standing up, turning around and running away. Immediately behind were two smaller wolves. It was all over in a second. They were gone before we could even think to take out any cameras or datasheets. Still, what an experience! We probably disturbed them while they were dozing and digesting their roe deer meal.
Christina and Andy, surveying the area nearby, where the wolves headed to when they ran away from us, were very late for their pick-up the same afternoon, because they had to collect many, many fresh scat samples.
We are pretty sure now where the core area of this wolf pack is. DNA analysis will show whether there are new pups this year.
Another successful and exciting week is almost over. More on the overall results soon…
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