In June, LIFE Lynx and LIFE WolfAlps EU teams from Slovenia Forest Service hosted European experts working with large carnivores topics. Representatives from Italy, Spain, England, Austria, Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo and Iran joined the three-day excursion in Notranjska and Gorenjska regions. The first day started in DINA Centre, where the experts from Slovenia Forest Service gave the participants a comprehensive presentation on the forest planning system, game management, and management of large carnivores’ populations, as well as on damages, compensation payments and the use of effective methods of protection against attacks by large carnivores.
We also heard reports from other countries and projects, such as bear management in the Apennines (Rewilding Apennines), large carnivores in Austrian Carinthia, the story of the rescue of the Iberian lynx in Spain (Lynx Connect), lynx monitoring in Albania and surrounding countries (Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme), and the efforts with the reintroduction of lynx in the UK (Lifescape project).
Later on participants visited farmers that use protective measures to prevent damages on livestock (high electric fences, livestock guarding dogs), visited the Mašun Forest House and educational path, Notranjska regional park, lynx enclosure and roe deer box trap. A special treat for the participants was a short hike in Snežnik forests and finding the remains of lynx Blisk’s prey. On the second day also the partners from LIFE Narcis and LIFE for Species from Latvia joined the group. On the last day, the visit was in Gorenjska region, where the participants learned more about Triglav national park, visited the lynx enclosure and a box trap for capturing roe deer.
In the middle of June, another expert group visited Slovenia, this time from Turkey. An 18-member delegation from Turkey visited Slovenia as part of the European Union co-funded project Preparation, Implementation and Monitoring of Species Action Plans for Endangered Species in Turkey within the Concept of a New Methodology. The aim of their project is to develop management strategies and action plans for all endangered species in Turkey, so the experts from the Slovenian Forest Service, Matej Bartol and Maja Sever, presented legal basis and management of large carnivores in Slovenia, as well as the mission of the LIFE Lynx project.
Sharing information between institutions and projects is important for successful implementation of any project. Therefore, this kind of exchanges benefit all; the participants and the organizers.