Although snow conditions were not great, we had two snow tracking trips in January, in frame of LIFE WOLFALPS project. First one near Čepovan (Trnovo Forest) and the second one near Hrušica Plateau, close to Postojna. Although for the first trip, morning weather forecast showed some gaps with no rain, this has changed, as we approached the only snowy land on our long drive. Due to fog and hard rain during first trip, tracking conditions were difficult, but our field experience was unique one. We’ve learned that it is not easy to be a field worker tracking wild animals. Luckily, we had some snow during the week that followed. We didn’t need to drive to far from Ljubljana, to experience real snow tracking in frosty land on sunny day. Even though participants didn’t find any wolf tracks, they experienced challenges while following the fox through the winter land. We were lucky enough to find tracks of dog, red deer, rabbits, martens and even badger.

Both trips started at Biotehnical Faculty in Ljubljana, with the presentation of wolf ecology, biology and wolf research in Slovenia. On the way back we warmed up in renovated hayrack at Smrekarjeva domačija near Postojna. Their traditional home made lunch was delicious. We are looking to come back for goulash with mashed potatoes, Slovenian stew (obara), pumpkin soup with gnocchi, different dumplings and apple pie, with homemade apricot and peach juices.
Participants were asked to share their level of satisfaction with us – although they didn’t find any wolf tracks, they were happy to spent time in nature, learning about different animals and wolves in Slovenia. Most of them would like to spend more hours tracking. Because weather conditions are crucial for the success of the trip, next time we will wait for the perfect forecast, before posting the trip dates. This means, we will tell you about the next trip only 3 days in advance.

Photo credits: Nina Ražen, Ela Trpin and Nina Ferkolj