Germany: Community expedition without international citizen scientists

We were looking forward to continuing our active wolf monitoring for the fourth year in a row. But then corona came.

Still, thanks to the Biosphere Expedition’s coronavirus appeal and the generosity of the donors, we can still run a small field campaign this year (there are still €451 missing to our target, so if there is anyone out there feeling generous, there is still time to make up the shortfall; we can run the community project as is, but with the extra funds, we would not have to compromise on a few things).

Preparations are underway and we have found an alternative base, because our usual ‘Herrenhaus’ base will not reopen until August. We are in contact with our friends from the state wolf bureau, the State Forests and are ready to get going soon. The team will comprise myself, Lotte Steinberg (who now works in wolf conservation in Thuringia), some wolf commissioners and also some former local citizen scientists who have attended the expedition every year since its start (and therefore are very experienced and do not require any training).

The wolf population in Germany continues to rise and there are some local hotspots where livestock is predated upon. In addition, wolves are pushing into new areas, which never fails to create anxiety within local human populations affected. There is an intense debate going on in Germany about wolves.

This is why baseline data are essential and it’s great that we can continue to collect data this year, in spite of corona, even if it is on a much smaller scale and without the help of international citizen scientists. You will be missed, not just because of the data you collect, but also because of the team spirit you create.

Once again many thanks to all donors who have made this community expedition possible. Without you, we would not get into the field this year.

Watch this space for updates…

Peter Schütte & Lotte Steinberg

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