With the opening of schools after the release of the covid-19 restrictions, it is only time for activities that are slightly different from those on the screens. Thus, at the end of April and in May, we carried-out workshops for Young lynx guardians at the Slovenian primary schools of Dragotin Kette in Ilirska Bistrica, the primary school of 16th December in Mojstrana and Josip Vandot in Kranjska Gora.
Pupils examined the skulls of different species of animals and were able to compare the characteristics of herbivores, carnivores and omnivores. They could also touch the furs of large carnivores, some even made plaster casts of their footprints. During the lecture, they learned more about the way lynx hunts compared to other species of large carnivores in Slovenia, about the low numbers of Dinaric-SE alpine lynx population and the reasons for it, and about how lynx research is conducted.
We took two schools from Gorenjska, Naklo Primary School and the France Prešeren High School in Kranj, on a field trip. Pupils from Naklo met with Peter Benedik, the president of Nomenj-Gorjuše Hunting Club, who took care of lynxes Aida and Zois while they were in the enclosure on Jelovica. This visit was just before the two lynxes were released into nature, so the pupilas could also see Zois and Aida in the enclosure. They learned first hand how hunters take care of the lynxes and how they behave in the enclosure. Before the tour, we also spoke more about why we carry out these activities, and the students already knew a lot about the lynx biology by themselves. On a field trip with the highschool students we focused a little more on how we do the research on the lynx and visited one of the lynx’s prey remains. Despite the fact that we haven’t found the remains we searched for, Pete Benedik showed us another prey remains caught by the lynx near the enclosure. As a cherry-on-top, Mr. Benedik showed the students fresh lynx tracks in the mud.
Pupils from Dragotin Kette Primary School in Ilirska Bistrica were so inspired by lynx after the workshop we had for them in April, that they made lynx clay-reliefs. Pictures say more than a thousand words, so we leave it to you to find the words looking at them!
Our project team members are always very happy to work with schools, as interest and additional questions from children and young people fill us with new energy and momentum. Each time we are surprised by the dedication of teachers and professors to transfer knowledge and enthusiasm for nature to pupils and students.
More workshops will be held next week at primary schools in Sodražica and Žužemberk. We are already interested in what questions and comments the students will ask us this time.