Team Eye of the Bear: Volunteer programs are running and the intervention team is counting on us


At the end of June, another volunteer program was successfully carried out as part of the Eye of bear monitoring program. This time it was a little different compared to the previous ones.

We had seven volunteers, but they took on both camp work and daily field activities. Again, we checked the data on all the trail cameras and at the same time deployed more to new locations. We have been actively monitoring in kremnica mountains since 2018. It is a territory that has no protection status, but still has great importance for its geographical location. We record active migration of wild animals between this volcanic mountain range and the southern neighboring ŠTIAVNICKÉ HILLS. Euroforest provides mapping of the occurrence and number of individual large beasts for the creation of a wild animal care plan in this protected landscape area for State nature protection of SR. During this program, members of our team started negotiations on possible monitoring in this area, which could bring us and the state nature protection a lot of important knowledge about migration and the number of animals in this territory in the future. Further negotiations will take place in the coming months directly at the administration of the Štiavnický hills.

Each program includes evening screenings, lectures and debates led by our monitoring team, always on a different topic related to our activities. Now we managed to organize the lecture every evening, thanks to which the volunteers learned about all our activities from Sumatra to Costa Rica. We consider this to be a very important part of the whole program so that the volunteers involved understand the importance of our activities on a global scale and also manage to put into context the Slovak program, of which they are a direct part at the moment.

As for the results themselves from the trail cameras, we have had several successes. In an area where the construction of fenced fields for hunting animals is still planned, we have recorded for the fourth time the movement of the brown bear(Ursus arctos),which is very valuable and high-quality data for us, but also for the SNP (State nature protection) of SR, which is trying to enforce a ban on the construction of this field, which we immediately handed over to the relevant collaborators from the administration of the Štiavnice Hills.

Last but not least, volunteers also participated in mapping and checking of the hunting facilities, especially places where wildlife is regularly fed in violation of applicable law. Another volunteer program, which is already fully booked, awaits us at the end of August, when our main task will be to deploy trail cameras to new locations and develop a strategy for monitoring deer mating season.

Since no volunteer program was planned for July, a representative of the Forest for children Association went to Slovakia to start developing cooperation with the Intervention team for brown bear. Intervention team for brown bear. This team belongs to the SNP of SR, i.e. the Ministry of environment. The main task of this team is to ensure the safety of both humans and the bear itself as quickly as possible after reporting the presence of a bear in the residential zones.
In addition, team members carry out tasks in the field of education, prevention, counselling, management of this kind as such and so on. They actively remove attractions (human waste or other) from the landscape that could cause bear synanthropy, in which we with our experience from the Kremnica Hills can help them. When this team goes to operate to residential area where the occurrence of a synanthropic bear is currently reported or already confirmed, trail cameras are needed in order for the space to be monitored in real time so that the behavior of the individual in question can be tracked. This is what our trail cameras should be used for in the future. One of the main objectives of the Eye of the Earth project is to document the work of rangers, especially in countries with IRF scope, and our emerging cooperation with this intervention team is a textbook example of this.
The concept of this work with synanthropic bears is not yet 100% established in the countries of the Carpathian Arch, so we can also help on this level, i.e. help with promotion, medialization, work with camera trails. At the end of June and during July, we made a total of 19 field trips with the intervention team, deployed 5 trail cameras for monitoring the synanthropic individual in residential area, and for the Ministry of the Environment we created a short episode about this particular case, which we are now impatiently waiting to be published. With the camera and all the filming equipment, we were also present at the discovery of illegal feeding in the urban forests of Banská Bystrica, where this activity goes for several years in violation of the law. We helped with documentation on the spot and the photos and videos obtained appeared in Slovak media over the following days. Radio and Television of Slovakia (RTVS) based on our cooperation with SNP of SR recorded two reports for the main evening news. The case in the city forests of Banská Bystrica was immediately taken up by the Television Markíza with our footage.

The cooperation agreement with the SNP of SR on audiovisual monitoring in kremnica mountains should expire at the end of 2021. So far, however, it looks like it will be successfully extended by at least two years based on quality results and active field activity in the field of reporting illegal activities. Likewise, an official cooperation agreement between the Forest For Children and the Intervention team for brown bear , should be drawn up soon, consisting of documenting individual call outs, personnel assistance during the call outs themselves and monitoring individual synanthropic bears with the help of trail cameras.

You can support the Eye of Bear program and our team via eye of the earth bank account or paypal with any amount of one-off or regular. Thank you for your support!

Eye Of The Earth
Account number: 21335568
 Sort code: 80-22-60
IBAN: GB53BOFS80226020894563