Sightings of apex predators such as bears and wolves are becoming more common in the country. Experts say that although they can cause some problems, it is better to learn to live with them.
According to haszon.hu, the number of large predator sightings in Hungary has increased significantly in recent years. In particular, after many decades, wolves, lynx, and bears have taken over the North Hungarian Mountains, while in other areas, golden jackals are increasingly common.
One of the reasons for their return could be that there was less food in their former territories – maybe because of an increase in their number –, so they looked for new territories, as magyarmezőgazdaság.hu wrote.
As the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Szeged reported on its website, according to Dr László Patkó, the WWF Large Carnivores Programme Manager, the presence of large carnivores in an area is an important indicator for species-focused studies.
If they are present somewhere, as he says, the trophic levels below them are fine in that area. However, if they migrate in search of new territory, then the appropriate food chain develops there, in the new place. National parks, wildlife managers, and NAIK (National Centre for Agricultural Research and Innovation) staff can carry out valid studies.
Samples of hair, faeces, urine or saliva are collected and then subjected to DNA analysis in a laboratory.
Among other things, research has shown that stray dogs are often responsible for economic damage attributed to apex predators, rather than the large carnivores themselves. In addition, as previously described, it seems that where predators appear, the appropriate food chain is established.
However, magyarmezőgazdaság.hu reports cases where it is not dogs that are to blame for the deaths of livestock but returning predators. Csaba Szabó, a sheep breeder in Fülöpháza, Bács-Kiskun County, reported such a story. There was a year when 23 of his lambs were lost due to golden jackals.
“So far, the sheep have had a good time out in the pasture, we had time to get them later, we didn’t stress the animals. Now, we have to compete with the golden jackal, and a lamb should not be allowed out of the sheepfold until it is 3-4 months old. In our experience, the jackal is not at all fearful, despite what is said. It watches where you are, chasing the ewe sheep with the lamb hanging out of it. In our area, there are no wild boar piglets, kids or bunnies, everything is hunted by this proliferated predator,”
says the farmer.
Source: haszon.hu, magyarmezőgazdaság.hu