Days fly by when there is so much to explore and learn from nature, locals and research papers.
In the past week, our young professionals dove right into their work.
Astarte and Ariane made a great team assessing more than 12 hamlets on the rolling hills of the old Plopu village. This spatial analysis is essential in the overall study and to better understand and devise concrete ways to minimise human-wildlife conflict.
In the meantime, Tristian discovered in the front yard of the old countryside house the best spot for a camera trap; hiding equipment in plain sight is an essential exercise before setting the camera in the wilderness.
In their incursion into the rewilding area with the experienced rangers, the Taskforce took coordinates of where signal is present to better understand the area and fine-tune the equipment that will be used in tracking bison.
Danne, Cătălin and Bianca continued to explore the region in search of the perfect hiking trails linking villages and the Tara wildlife observatory – a „design and build” project finalised last year by WWF-Romania and Camposaz. You can find out more about the observatory here.
Under the intense gaze of the sun, the team worked on identifying the most appropriate location along the European Road (E70), between Teregova and Armeniș, where sand boxes can be placed. These installations will then provide information about the animals that use these spots as corridors of passage and how we can ensure their safe crossing in the future.
Danne, Astarte, Ariane and Tristian were guided by Cătălin in the search and identification of tracks from animals who crossed this busy and dangerous road. They made annotations of the markings on the mobile outdoor navigation app taking into consideration also surrounding factors such as the railway, the distance from the river and the stone parapet. Our dedicated team also consulted studies such as the mapping methodology of the wilderness areas of the South-West Carpathians.
Sunshine was illusive in the higher altitudes of Țarcu Mountains where the Taskforce explored the alpine area and had a taste of the harsh conditions, far away from the shelter of the village or the forest. Embraced by fog, dense rain and swift winds the hike to the Meteorological Station at an altitude of 2190 meters was an experience to remember.
The sweetness of blueberries, the warm welcome of the meteorologist with warm tea and an extraordinary sunrise melted any trace of the cold hike up the mountain.
The excursion proved to be very educational and offered first hand insight into the ecosystem through which bison should cross sometime in the future in order to migrate to the wider area of Retezat Mountains National Park.
A Blockchain workshop in Rusca is in progress this weekend with international experts and the Taskforce is looking forward to the trip to Vânatori Neamț National Park next week and exchanging good practices with the team there.
Are you eager to find out what the Blockchain workshop touched upon? Curious to see how bison in Vânatori Neamț are doing? Stay connected to WWF Romania channels and follow the action with the hashtag: #Bison HillockLive
Text: Bianca Stefanut
Photos: Bianca Stefanut, Tristian Herbert & Astarte Maria Cîrstea