The last day delivered! Three teams collected 12 scat samples, four of which were fresh enough for genetic analysis.
So in summary, over the seven days of our community expedition, we
- walked about 250 km on foot and rode once by bike, an average of 14 km per group per day, as always on publicly accessible hiking trails as well as agricultural or forestry trails
- covered 15 cells of the pan-European 10 x 10 km grid
- identified 163 wolf scats in the field, 54 of which we collected for nutritional analysis and 7 of which were fresh enough to qualify for genetic analysis, the remaining 109 scats were too old or broken up for analysis
Scats for nutritional analysis will be sent to the University of Veterinary Medicine Hanover, Foundation and the genetic analyses will be performed at the Senckenberg Institute.
It will be very interesting to see what “our” wolves have eaten and whether their pack composition has changed, the territories have shifted or evidence of reproduction can be gleaned from our samples.
So all in all we achieved a lot under this year’s difficult conditions of reduced time, funding and helpers due to the absence of our usual teams of international citizen scientists. But still, we were able to determine in which areas the wolves are not roaming at the moment 😉
Wolf commissioner Kenny is scheduled to investigate the remaining areas in the next few days to have a closer look where the wolves are now. Good luck, Kenny!
We would like to thank all supporters who made this community expedition possible – especially Biosphere Expeditions for the funding via their coronavirus appeal, their logistical support and equipment. We would also like to thank the wolf bureau at NLWKN, the Lower Saxony State Forests and, of course, our fellow wolf commissioners and helpers for their support. A very special thanks goes to Kenny and his Biohotel Kenners Landlust for their flexibility, accommodation and fantastic food.
We look forward to a ‘normal’ expedition in 2021.