Improving Large Carnivore Conservation in Europe
Given the similarities between Dr. Seth Wilson’s home state of Montana and the small European country of Slovenia, the Slovenian Forest Service has tapped Seth’s expertise to benefit two large carnivore species: brown bear and lynx.
From 2015-2016, Dr. Wilson and his family moved to Slovenia to enable Seth to work with the LIFE DINALP BEAR project to explore community-based conservation efforts focused on the brown bear (read more about this work here.) Following up on this successful collaboration, Seth organized a study tour throughout the Rocky Mountain West for his Slovenian colleagues in the summer of 2017, focused on bear and wolf coexistence efforts in agricultural communities.
Seth and his family have returned to Slovenia for 2017-2018, where Seth will focus on building community support for early efforts to rebuild the Dinaric population of Eurasian lynx. Specifically, his work will include:
- IUCN-Expert Guidance: As a member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Human-Bear Conflict Expert Team, Dr. Wilson will provide expertise and consultation for all aspects of community-based involvement of hunters, local residents, farmers, and landowners who will be directly involved in lynx restoration.
- Scientific assessment: Provide a global assessment of wildlife (carnivore) reintroductions, augmentations, and reinforcements that focuses on successes, failures, and lessons learned. The assessment will provide a context-specific roadmap for the lynx restoration work in Slovenia and Croatia for the overall project.
- Documentary film: Co-produce a short (12-15 min.) film that showcases the historical role that Slovenian and Croatian hunters played in the first lynx reintroduction in 1973. The purpose of the film is to accurately document how hunters as conservationists were important to early Eurasian lynx conservation efforts. The ultimate goal of the film will be to reduce the risk of poaching/malicious killing of reintroduced lynx.