Intense work has been done in the past two weeks in the Bison Hillock with the entire team focusing on their specific tasks and coming together to deliver teamwork in an array of situations, from facilitating nature clubs to volunteering to build trails for the mountain biking competition from Reșița Metal Enduro, and preparing the weekly Film in the barn event for children in Feneș.
It’s difficult to glance into the unaltered behaviour of wild animals and finding better ways to be in heart of wilderness is essential to the research the Taskforce is doing.
Sebastian and Tristian have constructed several hides that permit them to see without being seen. Sturdy constructions made out of branches blend perfectly in the surroundings and offer their eager eyes a chance to come close to the majestic bison.
They spend long hours, from morning ‘till night, quietly and attentively scanning the landscape for any movement that can indicate the presence of wildlife. The footage is precious.
Exploring the region and following in the footsteps of bison allows the Taskforce to collect fresh feces that will be then dried and analysed in the laboratory. Along the way the team also discovers fresh tracks pertaining to bison, but also other woodland creatures such as the brown bear and red deer.
There are no boring days in the Bison Hillock. If you’re not gazing through the leaves you are collecting data on seedling dispersal and faces, or you are in a classroom with about 10 primary school students talking about wildlife, community development and project management.
Active Youth for Wilderness and Bison (Tineri Activi pentru Natură Sălbatică și Zimbri) is a string of five nature clubs open in five high schools in Romania’s South Western Carpathians. These clubs, with the help of teachers and special guests, enable children to explore and better understand the natural world around them while acquiring and practicing a set of skills such as team work, public speaking, creativity and project management. Developing an awareness of the benefits and potential threats against wilderness areas from a young age will help ensure how future generations will manage precious resources. First meeting of this year started in “Sf. Dimitrie” high school, in Teregova and continued in Școala Gimnazială Armeniș, Școala Primară Feneș, Școala Gimnazială Densuș și Școala Gimnazială Sarmizegetusa (jud. Hunedoara).
There are about 20 children in each club, and the projects they came up with to develop in this school year vary from developing an after school programme for underprivileged kids to a community festival to reducing pollution.
Keep an eye out on our channels to see how things evolve in the Bison Hillock and share the excitement with the world.
Text: Bianca Ștefanuț
Photos: Bianca Ștefanuț, Tristian Herbert & Astarte Cîrstea