Update from our monitoring expedition studying wolves in Lower Saxony, Germany

A few days ago our first Germany expedition came to an end. Peter and I packed up the research equipment, maps, tents and paperwork after the fourth team had left. Writing this, I am back at my desk. Before I say goodbye, I would like to share some results with you: During the fourth expedition week 234 km of forestry trails were surveyed, 48 km by bike. 25 potential wolf scats were collected. In total 49 Germany expeditioners covered 1,133 km of public forestry trails and paths! Peter will forward 78 approved and alleged wolf scats, 33 of them in ethanol, to the Wolfsbuero lab for further dietary and DNA analysis.

Twenty-five 10 x 10 km monitoring grid cells were surveyed, yielding 31 wolf tracks, 32 unclear scats, 5 carcasses and one livestock kill, as well as one possible wolf picture from one of the camera traps set up near base.

These numbers alone tell their own tale. We hope that these results will silence the critics and those from yesteryear still mistrusting citizen science projects.

It will take some more time until the final lab results will be available for writing up the final expedition report, envisaged to be out in early 2018, and we will of course keep everyone in the loop.

A big, big thank you goes first and foremost to all team members for their contribution and hard work. The project simply would not be possible without you!

We would also like to thank Theo, Baerbel, Kenny, Holger, Felix and Valeska for their time, support and sharing their knowledge. And last but not least, big thank-yous go to Jana and Jenny from the Wolfsbuero for supporting us on the ground and coping with buerocracy behind the scenes.

I think that we all have already achieved a lot together. “Keep up the good work” is a feedback comment I came across quite often during the wrap up. Thank you and I simply pass it on. I hope you’ll stay in touch and I look forward to meeting many of you again some time in the future.

All the best

Malika

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