Wiltshire College

Wiltshire, United Kingdom

An incredibly productive week was had by students from Wiltshire College and University Centre attending the November Wolf Tracking Seminar in the Western Carpathian Mountains with Large Carnivore Conservation & Education Group “Wildlife Seminars”.

Everyday was spent out in the field tracking and carrying out field work. The students were fortunate enough to follow and observe the tracks of the “Halne” wolf Pack that occupy the Żywiecki Beskidy Mountain Range. Many fresh Wolf scats were collected throughout the week, which were able to be processed and sent away for genetic analysis.

One day later in the week was blessed with clear blue skies whereby the students made the most of the opportunity by climbing Mt. Romanka giving great views. We also utilised this opportunity to set and collect information from nearby camera traps.

Students also observed lynx tracks across various transects with one Lynx being caught on camera trap with three kittens. This is a first for a Wiltshire College group and an exciting prospect for the conservationists working in the area.

Pine Marten, Fox and Golden Eagle were also observed along with an incredible sighting of a Golden Eagle that swooped past the front of the group at eye level. Students were also tasked with using GPS systems in the field and the principles behind radio telemetry with an opportunity to practice their skills.

Approximately 80 kilometres of transects were covered during the seminar with each day gaining indirect evidence including hair, scats, tracks and other species-specific identifiers. Each evening lectures took place focussing on large carnivores and current conservation efforts in Eastern Europe. This enabled the students to gain a firm understanding of the ecology, anatomy and behaviour of the animals they were out tracking in the day.

A skull and dentition workshop was conducted on a particularly rainy day whereby Deer were aged through their dentition markers and large carnivores identified through particular anatomical features. This gave the students the opportunity to identify skulls of large carnivores and ungulates with the aid of dichotomous keys.

The group were taken up to a nearby meadow centred between two valleys under Mt. Romanka during early evening to Wolf Howl to gain a response. There was no response on this occasion however the evening was finished with a big campfire and some local delicacies,

We are sure this will be a truly memorable experience for them on their premier visit to the Western Carpathians and hope it provides an experience in working for an active conservation organisation.

Animal Behaviour and Wildlife Conservation - University of Wolverhampton

As part of our BSc Animal behaviour and Wildlife Conservation our second year students take part in the Wildlife Seminar in the Beskidy Mountains. We have now visited four times, and each time the students have had a fantastic time, immersing themselves in the landscape and the species that live there. In particular the opportunity to be right in the heart of ‘carnivore country’ is central to the experience.  Learning first-hand about the behaviour, ecology and conservation of large carnivores and the interactions they have with people in a living landscape is fascinating. Walking transects and tracking individual animals through the forests and the excitement of what may be round the next corner is always part of the enjoyment. Finding your first prints, kill and even scat (surprisingly interesting!) is a moment to remember. Whilst the animals themselves avoid people and are extremely difficult to see (we have heard wolves and been within perhaps 10 metres while tracking), unless you put yourselves in the right place you have no chance of seeing them. Our colleagues at the Wildlife Seminars and Association for Nature Wolf provide that opportunity and have helped us share life-changing experiences with our students.

Agata Perkowska

Warszawa, Polska

Tropienie wilków było magicznym przeżyciem. Michał to doskonały przewodnik, bardzo zabawny, o ogromnej wiedzy, którą przekazuje w przystępny sposób. Polecam z całego serduszka.

Chloe Owen

Manchester, United Kingdom

Best experience I’ve ever had in my life. I had the pleasure of being led by Michal who was a true inspiration to me and really made the experience what it was. I’m itching to come back already and do it all over again!!

Chloe Ann

Telford, United Kingdom

Had an absolutely amazing week that I won't forget! Thankyouu to Mike and Kornel for the great experience

Lauren Hook

Willingdon, East Sussex, United Kingdom

Best week ever! Such an amazing experience, thank you so much! Please let me come back!

Caitlin Moore

Banbury, United Kingdom

The best field trip experience I've ever been on. Thanks Kornel and Mike for being so fascinating and giving us all such a brilliant time

Joanna JoKo Kowalczyk

Wrocław, Poland

Jak wyprawy w góry i rzetelna wiedza to tylko z Michałem!

Zoe Russell

Bishop's Waltham, United Kingdom

Amazing experience, with brilliant hikes, beautiful scenary and interesting talks. Thank you to Mike and kornel for a week we wont forget