About the Wildlife Monitoring & Deep Wilderness Expedition
This is a comprehensive field expedition designed to teach you many skills you will need for future adventures in the deep wilderness or even for a future career in wildlife biology.
Participants will be immersed into one of the last bastions of true untouched wilderness in Europe. You will be travelling through a pathless wilderness where the only human industry has been reindeer herding. The forest will not be old, it will be ancient. The rare wildlife that can be found in this place leaves us to not fully disclose the location where this expedition takes place. We do not, for ethical reasons want people to venture into these areas with the intent of causing harm to nature or wildlife
The focus species of this expedition is the golden eagle which is considered Near Threatened in Scandinavia. And the brown bear which has been on the Swedish red list since 2015. You will also be studying beaver at close range. This is if the hut is still active which can vary from year to year. Other species in the area are moose, arctic fox, muskoxen, wolverine to name a few.
Participants should take note that this is not a wildlife safari! There is never a guarantee to see wildlife. You are in their backyard for a long time, so your chances increase greatly.
The expedition will consist of activities such as first-aid skills, navigation exercises, bushcraft, wildlife monitoring techniques and more. You will be taught how to work with various field equipment such as camera traps and GPS-mapping devices, but you will also be going back to the basics on how to utilise the environment around to fill your basic needs such as cooking and so on. After the course is completed, you will receive a First Aid certification by European standards.
After proving to have mastered the necessary skills to navigate on your own, you may also have the chance to explore the wilderness in smaller groups. For the latter part of the expedition, you may be split into different groups and perform different tasks in different areas. This is in order to cover more ground and collect more data. It will also give you as a participant the empowerment and proof of having mastered the skills that you have been taught.
Typical expedition tasks include;
- Developing wilderness skills,
- Learning bushcraft,
- 1st Aid training & certification,
- Monitoring golden eagles and brown bears whilst expanding your wildlife knowledge,
- Camera trap work,
- Navigation leadership
- Working with ArcGIS applications
Wildlife Monitoring Details
When it comes to the wildlife monitoring part of the expedition in particular with regards to bears, we search for den sites and when we find one, we collect data on the surrounding environment, DNA, measurements and location of the den is recorded. This data is later sent to a wildlife research station which collects it to keep track of the bear population. We also store our data in order to use it for further research projects and information to the public. The golden eagle is monitored by spotting from an OP (observation point). During the month of August we look for young eagles who are just learning to fly. This is critically important as it tells us that breeding has been successful. We locate nests and record data; size, active/not active, location etc. Eagles reuse nests therefore we can monitor them more easily if we know more nesting sites. The beaver is monitored through measuring the impact on the land around. We count affected trees, age of trees, how large is the affected area. This is later compared to our lowland beavers to try to find differences between their behaviour in terms of habitat location. Wolves predate on beavers a lot. We know for a fact that there are now wolves in the north so that also is an interesting aspect to see any changes in that behaviour compared to the beavers in the south who live amongst wolves.