NatureSpy staff were in the wilds of Croatia’s Velebit Mountains this April with Rangers from the Northern Velebit National Park as well as with our partners at Bioterra. Here, they were checking on current camera traps and installing new monitoring equipment in the various habitats that make up the park, from dense forests and grasslands to rocky outcrops.
This mix of terrain, fauna and landscape means that Velebit is home to a wide array of species; many of which we have already captured on our trail cameras such as wild boar, lynx and hoopoe.
The focus of the work here however is on Europe’s most iconic mammals; wolves and bears. Some of the largest but also the most persecuted species, we work with Bioterra and the NP to help monitor individuals, family groups and packs to ascertain habitat use and how the populations are faring in order to help their protection and conservation in Croatia.
Hiking to these camera trap locations can be (very) tough but deciding where to put them can be even harder! Trying to cover such a large area to maximise the chances of catching these elusive species is one of the main obstacles we face in all our projects, so when we have rangers helping who know these spaces so well it can make all the difference.
Thankfully, this trail cam location turned out to be perfect! Here you can see NatureSpy staff member Ed taking a picture of the camera trap that has just been set-up and then, almost 4 weeks to the day in the exact same spot, a very curious wolf tried to recreate the same image.
Capturing images and videos of these amazing animals is not only incredibly useful in terms of data gathering but it is also always exciting!