Spring field work and talks

Working with wildlife surveys takes you to a lot of places you would normally not go.

Spring has both come and gone, and Sweden has now entered summer. I have done field work in the past two months and also held some public talks, while working on future projects.

In April we worked with doing a scat census of wildlife out by the coast in Uppsala county. In this census, we have set stations where we look for scats from moose, roe deer, wild boar, hare and other animals. With moose, it’s possible calculating roughly how many live in an area since we know how many times per day they defecate. And since we determine the age of the scats and have a set area which we investigate, we can count backwards and get a number.

Scats from wild boar (Sus scrofa).

In May, I worked for a couple of weeks investigating how much wildlife forage on young trees. This year I worked in northern Uppsala county and southern Västmanland county.

In between field work, I organized two rhetoric courses with animal ethics theme in Uppsala, one in April and the other in May. The participants learned how to build an argumentation and did a quick public talk. The second one focused more on debates and conflict management and also included the topics of psychology and conflict management. The participants got to do role-playing games taking on various roles in discussions. I also held a talk for Friluftsfrämjandet at Biotopia on 8 May, talking about my work with wild cats.

A curious roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) from when out looking at wildlife foraging on trees, in Västmanland in May.

During a trip westwards in Sweden in mid May, I visited a national park that I had not, until then, and for strange reasons, never visited before: Garphyttan National Park. I have crossed the entrance road to this national park hundreds of times over the years, without ever taking the turn. This time, I took the time to cross the park, which is quite small at only 1.1 square kilometers. The national park was one of the original nine formed in 1909. While small, the park is a nice area to stroll through and is part open meadow kept open by haymaking. I can recommend a visit.

Sunset at Garphyttan National Park in Örebro county.

Field work is now over for the time being and I will be working with other things. To be continued.

 

 

 

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Talk on snow leopards on 4 February in Karlstad

You will see a lot of pictures from different places in this talk.

I will hold a talk on snow leopards and the adventures with this cat on 4 February. The talk is at 18:00 in Naturum Värmland in Karlstad, western Sweden. The talk is in Swedish and costs 60 kr. It is open to the public and you are very welcome to come and listen!

Please click here for more information: http://www.mariebergsskogen.se/bildpuff/foredrag/

West coast expedition

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The cliffs around Smögen are beautifully flat. For many hours a grand lightning storm entertained us shooting lightning strikes all across the sky.

I have just gotten back from a three day expedition to the west coast in Sweden. I managed to catch a glimpse of a seal late one night and I snorkeled in the Atlantic Ocean trying out under-water photography. The waters were full of jellyfish and in particular the lion’s mane jellyfish, which is known to be the biggest jellyfish in the world. They are poisonous and I was only a few decimeters away from the dangerous tentacles while taking this picture.

Some years back, a national park, Kosterhavet, was set up to protect the only coral reef in Sweden. The reef has been under heavy pressure from large fishing boats ravaging the bottoms and killing the corals. The reef is far beneath the surface and is thus difficult to visit.

Now I am back home for a few days focusing on the work for the Swedish Society for Carnivore Conservation and other projects.

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The lion’s mane jellyfish is poisonous but seldom deadly. Its body can span two meters and some tentacles have been found to be 30 meters long.

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The area on the west coast of Sweden is rich in biodiversity. Seals, many species of birds, otters are frequently sighted here. Three weeks earlier a group of fisherment caught sight of ten orcas nearby here.

Last weekend I helped out building a carnivore-proof fence around the area of Tiveden National Park. This is much necessary as the wolf pack in the area have been sighted with five pups. Constructing carnivore-proof enclosures for domestic animals is one of the best ways of protecting carnivores and helping the people who might suffer economic losses and emotional headache from the presence of carnivores.

Leopard attacks person

“A leopard, which had strayed into the heart of the city [of Guwahati, India], attacked and injured a person at Nabagraha hill today. Panic struck locals tried to drive away the animal, which ran into a nearby house and was kept locked in it till forest department officials, who had been informed, rescued it, official sources said.”

Source: http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/leopard-attacks-man-in-guwahati/947492.html

I am still amazed by the Indian love of animals and life. Even though the leopard almost killed people they still tranquilized it and moved it – they didn’t kill it. In Sweden, a carnivore barely needs to show itself in a village for it to be shot. What a difference in mentality.