OFB (France) – Assessment of C3 action activities – Understanding predator-prey dynamics
Following the granting of authorizations to set camera traps, the action C3 team from OFB was able to start the project and set up 50 of the 60 camera traps in the Bauges National Hunting and Wildlife Reserve (RNCFS). Preparations for summer captures of wild ungulates in the forest have also begun.
C3 action: understanding predator-prey dynamics
As a reminder, the aim of this action is to study the habitat selection of wild ungulates in different hunting and wolf presence contexts, to characterize the diet of wolves and to investigate the spatio-temporal co-occurrence between the different socio-ecosystem actors in the reserve (humans, wild ungulates, domestic ungulates, wolves, etc.).
To do this, field operatives place 60 camera traps in the field to capture images of the surrounding wildlife.
This protocol makes it possible to evaluate the potential of photo traps to characterize the presence, use of space and possibly the abundance of wild ungulates and wolves.
GPS collaring of wild ungulates is also planned, as a continuation of the monitoring carried out in the RCNFS des Bauges over the past 20 years, and in particular before the presence of the wolf. The animals will be captured in cages with salt attractants, or in drop nets in summer and winter.
Intensive launch of the photo-trap system in April 2023
Since the launch of the project in March 2023, telemetric monitoring of animals fitted with VHF and GPS collars has led to the field recovery of: a VHF collar from a chevrillard following a mortality signal, and an IgotU collar from a chevrette.
With summer captures of wild ungulates in the forest approaching, the agents have launched preparations for the captures, including the dismantling of an old mouflon enclosure, to build a new cage in its place. A total of 13 cages are planned for the captures.