Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Missing Lynx – How You Can Help



Cameras - an essential tool in the safe recovery of Flaviu
Efforts to secure the safe return of Flaviu are entering Day 13. Since his escape, we’ve been incredibly encouraged by the many offers of help and support for his recovery. As we strive to improve our resources in the search area, there is a way you can help.

Recently, most of our time has been dedicated to building larger humane traps, searching for physical evidence and deploying more day/night vision equipment.

The humane traps are spacious and sturdy with a large entrance. They employ a bait-trigger and are designed to ensure that Flaviu will be well away from the door when he triggers the trap by grabbing the bait.

Inside, he’ll be comfortable with lots of bedding and a nice meal to keep him busy until the recovery team come to collect.

Positioning the traps is based on what we know about his territory and his movements. Once he’s comfortable with the territory he’ll have areas he favours for rest and relaxation, areas for keeping an eye out for trouble and areas for hunting. We hope that he’ll eventually develop a fairly predictable routine which will further inform our choices for humane traps and tracking.

Camera traps are vital, but so far he’s evaded them. They were placed according to the physical evidence we had gathered including footprints, fur on gates and fences, as well as trails and ‘rings’ in the tall grass where he’s stopped to take a nap. We’ve also used input from the landowners who have observed evidence in the unusual behaviour of their livestock.

His ability to avoid the cameras suggests that he has still yet to decide on the boundaries of his territory which means he’s a lot more mobile and his territory is larger than we thought.

This really stretches our resources, but is not all bad news because this is based on sound evidence which also gives us good reason to believe that he hasn’t left the area entirely; a real danger, made all the more possible by recent interference with our efforts.

A number of photographers and animal trackers (at least one claiming professional experience), have entered the area without authorisation and despite warnings from police. It is hard to know what they hope to achieve, arriving mostly after dark, but one thing is certain; their presence in the area significantly increases the chances of Flaviu leaving to find another territory.

One thing that has been a huge help in both assisting the tracking of Flaviu and deterring the uninvited visitors is the presence of the camera traps. People tend to think twice before getting themselves on camera during an act of aggravated trespass.

However, given that the area is now significantly larger than we had first thought, we desperately need more cameras. In addition to securing the area from visitors, it will give us the opportunity to track Flaviu and make sure he’s safe, whilst keeping human activity in the area to an absolute minimum.

The cameras we have deployed have been lent or donated by our supporters and they play a hugely important role in the effort to safely recover Flaviu. We’re hoping that some of you will be able assist us in obtaining more.

Cameras come in a variety of technical specifications offering different levels of functionality on stills, video, motion sensitivity, programming, thermal or infrared, etc., According to the task at hand we’ve identified two models which offer good functionality in the £120 to £150 range. Given the size of the area we will need at least 30 units to add to the cameras already deployed.

In addition to helping us find Flaviu, these cameras are an essential conservation tool which means that once the job is done, they will have a full and useful life tracking wildlife on conservation projects both here and abroad, including our Iberian Wolf project in Portugal.

Once again, the support we've received so far during this challenging time has been overwhelming. Any help you are able to give with this important project is greatly appreciated by the entire team.

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