WILD-project: German hunters’ monitoring initiative
Today, environmental monitoring of both endangered and invasive species is one of the most important tool to secure the natural balance.
In Germany a great number of specialized species in the agricultural area show a decreasing population trend. The brown hare, for example, is threatened due to the intensification of farming and exhibits a dropping nationwide average density of 11 individuals per 100 ha. Meanwhile, the number of individuals of introduced invasive species, as the raccoon, dramatically increase and poses a risk for native species. In 2016 the raccoon was registered in nearly 43% of German hunters preserves.
To counteract these trends, conservation actions and management plans are mandatory. Therefore, the knowledge for occurrence and development of a species within large areas is an important precondition.
WILD (wildlife information system of Germany) is a pioneer project that covers 13 million hectares and can be seen as the biggest monitoring program for German wildlife. It has been initiated in 2000 from the German hunting association and is based on year-round recordings of game species by honorary working hunters using scientific methods. Thereby, the wide knowledge of hunters about animal species and their habitat, as well as their daily presence in the study area are huge advantages for a solid data collection. In 2017 around 25.000 hunting districts participated in counting species for WILD. Once a year the summary of the monitoring results gets published in the WILD-report. It’s the foundation for species-specific stock assessments, an effectiveness test of close seasons and other necessary protective measures.
This project illustrates again the important role of the committed hunting community for conservation projects.
Contact and Sources:
Franziska Thelke – Consultant for Wildlife Ecology and Management for the German hunting organization (DJV) – email@example.com
Susann Krüger – Consultant for Wildlife Ecology and Management for the German hunting organization (DJV) – firstname.lastname@example.org