This newsletter focusses on what’s been happening in the world of wildlife conservation in a brought sense. This month, some of the topics are: the potentially upcoming lynx reintroduction in The U.K., what’s happening with the Białowieża forest, Journey of the Jaguar, hunting grounds in Flanders (Belgium), etc. And of course, some videos to end with.
Here is a good article about the problems occurring during reintroduction projects and the facts happening in the UK about the idea of getting the Lynx back. It’s a good overview of what kind of factors are needed to take into account. It’s not only about the ‘human-wildlife’ conflict, but also about ‘people-people’ conflicts. It stated some nice other examples and the importance of having a local community interested in your project.
There is still a huge distance between people and wildlife, and usually compensation can’t solve all the problems. There is more need for education and dialogue between conservationists and ‘the other people’, so they can act as 1 group of people. This all comes down to have trust in each other.
In the U.K., the Lynx UK Trust recently applied for a five-year trial involving Eurasian Lynx. This is planned in the Klieder Forest in Northumberland. Arguments pro are for example: they have been roaming in the U.K. in the past, an effort to combat the rising numbers of wild deer, etc. Arguments against are mostly in the trend of killing livestock, both from local farmers and the NSA (National Sheep Association). As discussed in the article above, for conservation measurements to take place, there is a huge need for local support. This is the main problem in the reintroduction of lynx debate.
In the world of today (and tomorrow), humans have fragmented the landscape. Wildlife crossings are one solution to re-connect suitable habitat. It’s more complex than that, but I came across an article with some examples of wildlife crossing which I liked to share. Currently, there are 5 pages with pictures of wildlife crossings. #2 is in Belgium, it’s the “Kikbeek” wildlife crossing, which connects two parts of the National Park “Hoge Kempen”.
You can find the article HERE
Below you can find a nice video on the need for wildlife crossings etc.
The Białowieża forest is situated in Poland and is a very old forest with a lot of wildlife around. There have been issues with logging, definitely on the border with Belarus. After some discussions, finally, the European Commission has referred Poland to the European Court of Justice (announced on 13 July 2017).
This headline stroked my attention. It’s about how elite armies take over the war on ivory with the idea the ivory business is related to terrorism, which is not any proof of (yet). After international armies are gone, locals can’t compete in the war against ivory trade and other ‘conservation wars’.
Although it’s not all bad. Here is a nice ‘photographic article’: A day in the life of an anti-poacher ranger
Panthera is creating awareness for the jaguar. Dr. Alan Rabinowitz and Dr. Howard Quigley are taking a journey through ‘Jaguar Land’ to discover more about this elusive species. Currently, they are blogging about Colombia. Check out their page for more information, images, and videos.
Digital Map of Hunting Grounds Available (FLANDERS, BELGIUM)
A bit of news about my home country. Finally, there is a bit of transparency in what areas are theoretically used by hunters and included in their hunting ground map. Maybe this can inspire people from other countries to check their policy.
It has been a 3-year discussion to make the maps of the hunting grounds publicly available. This is a big deal, definitely in densely populated areas like Flanders, Belgium. The main problem is that there are numerous cases where gardens and other private properties are appearing on the maps hunters are obligated to give to the authorities. These maps indicate the area of their hunting ground, which someone’s garden obviously is not.
It all comes down to the struggle to hunt in densely populated areas and find an area large enough to be able to do so. The hunters need to show a map of their hunting ground which is at least 40 hectares large. To manage to find an area this large, they included for example gardens in their maps. Although it’s all theoretically and usually hunters are not hunting in these ‘theoretical’ areas, it’s still a weird thing.
So… what’s new?
Well, before July 2017, nobody knew what was included in hunting grounds and what not, and it was very hard for those who weren’t hunters and wanted to figure out. So environmental organisations wanted more transparency, and that finally happened (after 3 years of discussion). So from now on people can check online if their property is (illegally) part of a hunting ground.
For people who know Flanders, this map looks quite ridiculous. For those who don’t know Flanders, we are a densely populated area with not a lot of nature left. The below shows you all the areas designated in a hunting ground map (in green). I guess you can understand from this map there might be something wrong with it.
Currently, there is this transparency in which areas are used in the maps of hunting grounds, but the rules haven’t changed. Hunters can still use properties in their hunting ground maps, it’s up to the owner of the property to tell the government the property cannot be used as a hunting ground. Luckily there are websites to check both if your property is used and how to make it a ‘hunting-free’ zone.
More info you can find in this Dutch Article
Is it all bad?
Of course, you have both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ hunters. This problem just sounds logical that hunters need to come and ask permission to use your property as a ‘theoretical’ hunting ground. And if the hunters have a good relationship with their surrounding neighbours, it probably will not be a big deal if they explain the problem. On the other hand, there are stories from hunters not following any rules regarding what to shoot etc. It’s just about the matter of trust in both ways.
Check out some of my camera trap footage of mammals in Belgium.
Big Cats Electrocuted
A couple of stories about electrocuted cats popped up in my news feed this month, so I thought it was worth mentioning it.
In India there was a leopard electrocuted.
Bobcat caused a power outage in southwest Kansas.
Don’t forget to turn on your sound for some commentary on the events.
Don’t forget to turn on your sound. Elephants are making some noise.
A nice compilation of camera trap images (© Koreus.com)
How to deal with porblem bears 2.0
Close leopard encounter