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Title of the project

Estonian large carnivore sighting and track observations

Description

To understand the current status and trends of large carnivore populations.

Bear, lynx and wolf site and track observations are reported by hunters to the Estonian Environment Agency, which analyses the data to separate them into different reproductive units.
Hunters also contribute by surveying transects to count wolf and lynx tracks in the snow.
Finally, biological samples are provided to researchers from each bear, lynx or wolf shot.

Results

Approximately 5000 bear, wolf and lynx sightings are reported and up to 4500 km of transects are surveyed by hunters a year

Location

Country Estonia
Level National

Habitat Types

Farmland, Forest/Woodland, Scrub/Grassland, Wetland, Coastal, Island, Mountains, Suburban

Protection status of the areas

Natura 2000, Emerald Network, Ramsar, Regional protected area, National protected area, Areas with voluntary or mandatory hunting ban, Hunting reserve, No protection status

Species

Species Caracteristics Huntable species, Protected species, Threatened species
Species Type Large carnivores
Name(s) of main species brown bear - Ursus arctosEurasian lynx - Lynx lynxgrey wolf - Canis lupus

Conservation action(s)

Research and data collection (e.g. monitoring, bag data)

Partners

Leading partners volunteer hunters;Estonian Environment Agency (http://www.eea.europa.eu/soer-2015/countries/estonia)

Publication(s)

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/conservation/species/carnivores/pdf/task_1_part2_species_country_reports.pdf

Weblinks

http://www.lcie.org/Blog/ArtMID/6987/ArticleID/74/Counting-phantoms-in-the-forest-The-role-of-hunters-in-monitoring-large-carnivores