Autumn settled in nicely in the Bison Hillock with a myriad of colours and locals busily gathering fruits and vegetables. Rural life is picture perfect, especially when a photographer points his sharp eyes and curious lens towards the local people and gets wonderful shots of their routine.
WWF friend and professional photographer Dan Dinu, visited the area to capture the beauty of these people and the hard work they are doing, keeping traditions alive.
Ariane and Astarte teamed up again to gather as much information as possible about the nutrition of the bison assessing the types of trees they debark and collecting feces samples to dry and take for analysis in a laboratory.
While the bison proved elusive to Sebastian in the past week, Tristian managed to observe them for a couple of minutes and note important behavior that leads to deciphering their group dynamic and state of health. The two have developed intricate and useful family trees to determine bonds between bison. Seb and Tristian also have their own language and listening to them talk about The Gate, Hunter’s Glade or other locations sounds like a fiction novel and is entertaining as well as fascinating.
Nico is constantly collating data from his colleagues to geographically determine the hot spots where bison roam. In the past week he analysed and compared GPS signals from two of the bison groups to discover if they are independent or travel together. The group pertaining to Tirunes seems to explore the high forests while the other group seems to prefer the meadows.
Nico is also working on an updated landcover map of the area with data from the forestry district which will allow a comparison with the landcover before the bison arrived, in 2012 and thus a better understanding of what tree species are in the bison’s area of interest. This comparison of the natural landcover classification alongside the monitoring of the bison’s position allows us to predict how they will move in the next months.
The past two movie nights were a delight for the children of all the villages, the team bringing them to Armenis and Sub Margine to enjoy nature documentaries and animations with lots of home-made apple crumble and cookies on the side.