Integrated monitoring and management
In the last century, most ungulates and large carnivores have returned to Switzerland after being exterminated. This return demonstrates that the cultural landscape is suitable as a habitat, but challenges wildlife, forest and landscape management. The management of large mammals in the Swiss cultural landscape has so far been largely based on cantonal data, which is collected differently in each canton (except for large carnivores). Thus, there is a lack of coordinated data collection and analysis that would allow for a holistic approach and the integration of knowledge from multiple dimensions. For example, it is currently not possible to assess effects of ungulates on forest regeneration or the influence of large carnivores on ungulates and ultimately the entire forest-megafauna system. However, answering such questions is essential for a fact-based management. Therefore, we need robust, long-term and large-scale data to be able to investigate such questions in the future.
This project aims to develop a monitoring system that integrates ungulates, large carnivores, vegetation and land use rather than isolating them. The aim is to create long-term data, to connect knowledge, for example, to enable the assessment of effects of large carnivores on the vegetation. The insights from the integration are then to be implemented in the wildlife and land management. A central question is the assessment of the impact of large carnivores on ungulates and ultimately on forest regeneration.
A crucial part of this project is the integration of data from different sources. We will process analyse and integrate data from large carnivores, ungulates, land use and habitat fragmentation, browsing damage in forests, climate and livestock depredation. Initially, we will focus on wolves and red deer in our main project regions. However, other species and regions will be added in the course of the project. The first step is to review and prepare already available data and identify gaps that do not allow a holistic approach. The project also aims to establish a standardized monitoring system for ungulate species in Switzerland, that considers the identified gaps in data collection from the previous analysis. For the success of the project, a cooperation with different partner organizations, especially cantons, is crucial. Thus, from the beginning of the project, close cooperation with various stakeholders will be established for the development and implementation of the new approach for the integrated monitoring and management.
The integrated monitoring and management project is led by KORA and funded by a private foundation. The individual parts are implemented in cooperation with project partners, especially cantons, in the study regions.
Project duration: 2022-2025
Study regions: Focus GR & BE; VD/GE, Mittelland (AG/SO/LU/BE)
Contact KORA: Dr. Nina Gerber