A new MENDELU project aims to bring large carnivores and humans together across the Carpathians

13. 4. 2023
Mendel University in Brno is launching a new international project Interreg Central Europe - LECA, which will support the coexistence of humans and large carnivores in the Carpathian region. The project aims to harmonise international monitoring of beasts, prevent conflicts between beasts and humans and prevent poaching. The other countries that will cooperate in the LECA project, besides the Czech Republic, are Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Romania and Ukraine.

“Large carnivores are an indispensable part of Carpathian forest ecosystems. This is where some of the largest populations of lynx, wolves and bears in Europe are found. However, their protection and the resolution of conflicts with humans cannot work in the long term without international cooperation. This is what the LECA project will rely on, which aims to bring a number of effective recommendations and solutions for improving the coexistence of humans and large carnivores in the Carpathian region,” explained the importance of the new project’s coordinator, zoologist Martin Duľa from the Institute of Forest Ecology at Mendel University in Brno.

To maintain viable populations of large carnivores and their long-term coexistence with humans in the Carpathian region, the project is built on three pillars – harmonisation of transboundary monitoring, conflict prevention and poaching prevention. “Our international team will follow the path of consistent and effective monitoring, involving local stakeholders such as hunters, farmers, municipalities and government institutions. This will provide us with up-to-date information on the status of large carnivore populations as well as on the level of conflicts with humans in the cross-border pilot areas of the Carpathian Mountains, which will then help us determine effective measures. We believe that thanks to the involvement of all stakeholder groups and international participation, these measures will improve cooperation and awareness of the issue not only at the local, but also at the regional and transnational level,” Martin Duľa explained.

The team from the Institute of Forest Ecology at Mendel University in Brno has many years of experience in monitoring, research and protection of large carnivores. Over the next three years, he will lead a team of eleven project partners and fifteen associated partners from seven countries. Together they will work to develop coordinated approaches to conflict prevention and conservation of large carnivores in the Carpathians. To this end, NGOs, research organisations, ministries, national parks and universities will be involved.

The three-year LECA project is funded by the EU Interreg Central Europe programme.

Contact for further information. Martin Duľa, Department of Forest Ecology LDF MENDELU, +420 770 137 635, martin.dula@mendelu.cz

Photo: Martin Duľa

More information about the project and its outputs.

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