Transylvania - Operation Wallacea

Transylvania

The survey options described below have been packaged into 2 and a 4 week expedition. Please read the packaged expedition descriptions and then move to the constituent part descriptions.

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Expedition options

Expedition 1,2 & 4 – Carpathian meadows and ancient forests

Start date expedition 1: 4th July – 17th July
Expedition length: 2 weeks (2 weeks terrestrial only)

There is limited space available on expedition 1

Start date expedition 2: 18th July – 31st July
Expedition length: 2 weeks (2 weeks terrestrial only)

NEW – Not listed in brochure, Expedition 4 has been opened due to popularity of expeditions 1+2, and how quickly they filled.

Start date expedition 4: 20th June – 3rd July
Expedition length: 2 weeks (2 weeks terrestrial only)

Expeditions 2 and 4 have a waiting list

This expedition has a week each in two different valleys in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania. The area is one of outstanding natural beauty with species rich meadows that have been managed with late hay cuts and no fertilizers for the last 700 years and ancient forests that were once part of the forest that covered much of Europe. On this project you will be working with specialists quantifying change in different taxa and using a wide variety of ecological survey techniques. The surveys include assessing the value of meadows from the occurrence of 30 species of plants that are indicators of high quality meadow communities, forest structure surveys from 20m x 20m quadrats and estimating carbon levels, pollard counts and sweep net surveys of butterflies, point count and mist net surveys for birds, small mammal trapping and camera trapping for the large mammal species including bears and wolves. In addition, there is the opportunity to go out with a member of the local community and see if you can see some of the larger mammals in person, for example bears, wild boar and wild cat. Interview based surveys of small farms are used to assess whether the farming practices (date of hay cuts, amalgamation of fields, use of fertilizer etc) are changing in a direction that would threaten this spectacular scenery and wildlife. At the end of each week you will travel over the mountains and down into the next valley to repeat the surveys. Note with European train passes it is possible either before or after your expedition to explore by train other parts of Europe including Budapest, Vienna, Prague and many other sites.

Expedition 3 – Bears and Carpathian Wildlife

Start date expedition 4: 4th July – 31st July
Expedition length: 4 weeks (4 weeks terrestrial only) 

This project has a waiting list

This expedition has a week in each of four different valleys in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania. The project is based in an area of outstanding natural beauty that represents how most of Europe looked prior to the intensification of agriculture, when there was no fertilizer, herbicide or insecticide use. Working with a number of specialists quantifying change in different taxa, the four week project gives more opportunity to fully experience the wide array of different survey types conducted in Transylvania. The surveys include assessing the value of meadows from the occurrence of 30 species of plants that are indicators of high quality meadow communities, forest structure surveys from 20m x 20m quadrats and estimating carbon levels, pollard counts and sweep net surveys of butterflies, point count and mist net surveys for birds, small mammal trapping and camera trapping for the large mammal species including bears and wolves. In addition, there is the opportunity to go out with a member of the local community and see if you can see some of the larger mammals in person, for example bears, wild boar and wild cat. Interview based surveys of small farms are used to assess whether the farming practices (date of hay cuts, amalgamation of fields, use of fertilizer etc) are changing in a direction that would threaten this spectacular scenery and wildlife. At the end of each week you will travel over the mountains and down into the next valley to repeat the surveys, allowing you to experience the diversity of a number of different villages. It is possible to specialize in one or more of the projects or to keep circulating between the different survey teams and by the time you have finished your 4 week stay in this beautiful part of the world, you will have an excellent grounding in survey techniques used to quantify different taxa.

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