Camera traps to capture wolves in The Netherlands

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The organization Wolves in The Netherlands is hanging a few dozen camera traps along the border to try and capture images of wolves who may be crossing over the border. The motion-sensitive cameras are being positioned in strategic areas to pin down where wolves could be roaming the country. In the radio program Vroege Vogels (Early Birds), Leo Linnartz of Wolves in The Netherlands explains how the camera traps will work. "We hope to record a wolf within a confined network", Linnartz says. The cameras can only record images within a few meters' distance. "It's really a random sample." The cameras are being positioned between Nijmegen up to Northeast-Groningen, which is an expansive area. Because the area is so large, knowledge about animals' preferred routes is key. The camera traps will hang on trees in areas of The Forestry Commission (Staatsbosbeheer), Natural Heritage (Natuurmonumenten) and the provincial Landscapes. "You have to have a place with a good view and at established routes of animals". Linnartz explains. The cameras are motion sensitive, so will record everything that passes by including humans, domestic animals and other animals as well. "So you have a bunch of recordings with a few interesting ones in-between." The cameras have to be inspected regularly, to see what was photographed as well as to change the battery.

"And if a camera hangs just wrong, then you could get lots of photos of a moving branch. Then it has to be placed elsewhere", Linnartz says. Wolves have not yet been captured on camera in The Netherlands. There have been sightings just over the border with Germany, at Drenthe and Twente, this Spring. These wolves could have crossed into The Netherlands by now. Camera images will provide proof that wolves are back in the country. The last sighting was in the 19th century.