National Geographic explorers used camera traps to capture video footage of Europe’s elusive Gray wolf
In the first couple of month’s of the 12-month project assessing large carnivore populations and biodiversity studies in the Csomad-Balvanyos region area in the Carpathians mountains, camera traps recorded bears and lynx. It wasn’t until much later, they had their first glimpse of a Gray wolf (Canis lupus) on one of the camera traps.
Romania is the European stronghold for the Gray wolf. However, there seems to be huge discrepancies in the total population figures ranging from 2,000 to 4,000, the majority of which live in the Carpathian Mountains. It is known that wolves are present and hunting in the area, but the size of the territory is unknown, just like whether they are present all the time or just passing through a much larger territory. The camera traps have played a vital role in being able to get a glimpse of these elusive predators both during the day and at night. Until recently, they have only ever captured one individual passing through the area during the autumn - watch here. The most recent footage above, taken during over winter, shows three passing through the area together scent making as they go.
Victoria Hillman, a National Geographic Explorer and Research Director for the Transylvanian Wildlife Project, oversees research on carnivores and biodiversity of Europe’s last great wilderness. Follow the expedition here on Explorers Journal through updates from the team. Read more
Don’t worry, it’s an immitation fur SpiritHood from the ProBlue label - 10% of net profits is donated to a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and rehabilitation of that particular animal :)