Update from our Germany wolf volunteer project
This Saturday we welcomed our third and final group of Germany wolf volunteers travelling from the US, Australia, UK, the Netherlands and Germany to the beautiful expedition base of Gut Sunder in Lower Saxony. The usual training visit to the Wolfcentre allowed our expeditioners to take a closer look at our target species, the European grey wolf.
Once arrived at expedition base, the team went into full training mode learning about wolf monitoring and how to collect and record evidence of wolf presence in accordance with to the standardised state data collection protocol protocol. The GPS devices now no longer hold secrets for the team.
On Sunday afternoon we went out for a trial hike nearby to test our newly-gained skills and find our bearings in the pine forests and heath. Sure enough Michael found the first wolf evidence which was meticulously documented by the entire team. We were also treated to some first sightings of local wildlife. Ben, who is a regular Biosphere Expeditioner, spotted the first roe deer, Kathrin saw some cranes during her early morning run and while testing our GPSs, two grass snakes and a common toad crossed our path.
While looking for wolf evidence, we heard and saw several ravens flying over. They are known as allies of the wolf and alert the wolves to potential prey to then get a share of the reward after a successful hunt. Before dinner, Theo Grüntjens, one of the first wolf commissioners of Lower Saxony and an excellent photographer, shared with us his experiences, gorgeous images and incredible footage of the local wolf pack in his region, which without a doubt is the second best to a close encounter with the species. We ended the evening with a nice dinner and lively debate on how to promote coexistence between wolves, shepherds, farmers and hunters. An inspirational day and everyone is ready for full-on wolf monitoring in the coming days.