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Project strives to protect Slovak and Norwegians wolves

A PROJECT connecting Slovak students and Norwegian environmentalists tries to find a balance between protection of wild predators and the protection of sheep herds.

Illustrative stock photo(Source: Sme)

In the Norwegian town of Evenstad (where the Hedmark University College’s Faculty of Forestry and Wilderness Management has about 150 students), Slovak students – in cooperation with the (Slovak) Carpathian Wildlife Society and a branch of the Friends of the Earth in the Norwegian district of Hedmark, want to explore the protection of predators while also preventing excessive loss in sheep breeding.

The goal of the project called Support for Biodiversity by Improving the Management of Conflict Situations Between Big Predators and Humans is a study comparing experience in breeding of sheep and keeping big predators in Norway and in Slovakia; including adopting practical solutions and informing of the expert, as well as the wider, public.

It should help to protect big predators in both countries, while also protecting large-scale sheep farming from huge losses, the SITA newswire wrote. Although Slovakia has recorded smaller losses in livestock caused by predators compared to Norway, the protection is still insufficient; and in recent years, killing of sheep by wolves has been on the rise.

In Norway, about 2.5 million sheep graze in summer, mostly without any protection against predators, while annual losses amount to 100,000 animals. 

The project is to demonstrate on selected farms effective forms of protection, mainly the good use of large shepherd dogs which would be always around the sheep on pastures. The breeds include Slovak cuvac, Caucasian shepherd and Central-Asian shepherd dog. It has been repeatedly proven that permanent presence of big dogs largely dissuades big predators from attacking livestock. Five farms, both in Norway and Slovakia, were selected to demonstrate the effects of this method.

More information about the project, to be concluded in December 2015, can be found at www.project.carpathianwildlife.sk/index.php/sk and www.eeango.sk/aoi.

 

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