Update from our Sweden bear volunteer project
Day 7 was half a day in the field and yet, between all of us, we still managed to achieve three dens, several scats and day beds. We wrapped up the field research by a local beauty spot, where everyone met up for cake, soup, tea and coffee to celebrate our achievements by a fire, reflecting on a week that has flown by.
Back at base, we entered data gathered into a laptop and started to clear up. Andrea gave a ten-minute presentation summing up how we have helped her research and thanked us for this. Here’s the final tally: We documented all 24 dens of the study site, collected over 100 bear scats – which was well beyond Andrea’s target – recorded 30 day beds, 8 carcasses and a multitude of other interesting events such as gnawed antlers, encounters with moose, fox, owls and other animals. Andrea’s words of gratitude were not just a polite ‘thanks’. She explained to us how she absolutely relies on our citizen science contributions to carry out significant parts of her work on brown bear ecology in a changing world of climate change and forestry. Essentially, if we were not here to do it, it would probably not get done.
We in turn want to return the gratitude and say thank you very much to Andrea for being so welcoming and patient with us, and letting us be part of her world for an all too short summer week here in Sweden. In the words of Neil: “We’ll be back”.