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Junior Rangers from the Triglav National Park were researching large carnivores in Pivka

21 March 2023
University of Ljubljana

The Junior Ranger Programme is a rich programme for children and youngsters in the Triglav National Park (TNP). As the park is also part of the Young Ranger programme, we have intertwined the two programmes – and so the Junior Rangers came to visit Pivka!

In Juršče, Aleš Sedmak has been breeding small livestock on his family farm for many years and is also known as a breeder of the livestock guarding dogs; the tornjak breed. He welcomed and showed us how a dog protects its herd, how it is socialised and what this means for a breeder of grazing animals. We also experienced how electricity travels through a chain of hands – and apart from a fun impulse, we survived! During this, we were accompanied by the village dog, who provided additional joy for the children (but not for the herding dogs… ).

After refreshments of jota (a stew), we continued our exploration of the DINA Pivka centre. We looked at the Beastbook (the Facebook of large carnivores), watched videos of the wolf Slavc, the lynx Goru and the bear Katja, took a quiz, looked for signs of large carnivores on the floor of the centre, etc. During the workshop, we also learnt about ways of researching large carnivores. Because they are good at hiding, we need to detect them in different ways!

At the end of the programme (which could have gone on a bit longer at all these points), we boarded the bus with our heads full. The adult companions were more tired than the younger participants, who continued to chatter on the way back.

The trip was organised within the LIFE WOLFALPS EU project in cooperation with the Triglav National Park. Thank you also to Aleš Sedmak for the welcome!