Gamekeepers and environmental group unite to protect wild life
For many decades, lynxes, wolves and bears have been very rare in the Czech Republic. Over the last 20 years their numbers have been decreasing even more rapidly. One of the obvious reasons is disappearing habitat through the clearance of woodlands. However, these three wild species have to face one more serious problem: poachers. In the last 20 years, around 500 lynxes plus several wolves and bears have died at the hands of illegal hunters, who regard them as trophy kills.
How long did the negotiations between the gamekeepers' association and DUHA take?
In what ways exactly are the two organizations going to cooperate on this project?
"In the first place, the gamekeepers' association will support our idea of granting a reward to anyone who informs the police or other authorities of a poacher killing a protected wild animal. We believe that this will be an effective method to make poachers afraid of carrying on with their activities. The gamekeepers' association will join the steering committee, one of whose tasks is to bestow rewards on persons who have reported a poacher.
Have you considered using chips, in order to monitor the animals?
"I don't think that this would be really effective. There is actually a certain project going on in the Sumava Mountains where scientists fastened radio transmitters on lynxes in order to monitor their behavior. Half of those lynxes have already been killed by poachers. This method itself doesn't help in finding poachers, you just find out that the animal has disappeared."