Project description

National parks aim at protecting biodiversity along with their underlying ecological structure and environmental processes. For this reason, there are no management interventions in the core areas of the national parks. However, for some species with large home ranges, protected areas in Central Europe are often too small to encompass the essential natural processes or at times don’t meet the species requirement for space and resources. Thus, management interventions in wildlife populations may be necessary in order to ensure the national park’s protective purpose and to prevent transmission of diseases as well as disproportionate damage to vegetation in the surrounding cultural landscape. The regulation of ungulate abundance therefore plays an important role in all German national parks. Except for ibex (Capra ibex) in the national park Berchtesgaden and roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) in the Bavarian Forest National Park and in the Unteres Odertal National Park, all ungulate species are currently managed, leading to a hunting bag of each several hundred individuals per species every year. For this reason, the single protected area management processes have recently been thoroughly analyzed. One of the key findings is that ungulate monitoring as a basis of hunting quotas needs improvement, especially when considering the rapid methodological development in recent years. Another finding showed that there seems to be no coordination between the national parks in terms of indicators and methods for monitoring ungulate populations and their effects on vegetation.

The aim of this project is to optimize wildlife management in German national parks though the implementation of an adaptive management approach, which in turn is based on a strictly standardized long-term camera-trap monitoring. To handle the huge amount of camera trap data within the project, we use TRAPPER to tag and organize pictures. Since TRAPPER supports collaborative work on a project, it is perfectly suitable for cross-regional or cross-administrative projects and therefore also allows us to analyze our data across different national parks. The project is managed by the chair of Wildlife Ecology and Management of the University of Freiburg and funded by the Federal Agency of Nature Conservation (BfN).

Cooperation partners:

Detailed project description at the website of the University of Freiburg.

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