Laboratory for Research and Monitoring of Large Carnivores
The Laboratory for Research and Monitoring of Large Carnivores carries out various activities to determine anthropogenic influences on the populations of large carnivores, bears, wolves and lynx, as well as on numerous other large and medium-sized mammals.
In this regard, the Laboratory conducts monitoring of wildlife motorway crossings over green bridges, the number of road kills, monitoring of the influence of other linear structures (gas pipeline, railway tracks etc.) built in habitats of large carnivores, as well as the impact of other anthropogenic structures (wind power plants, landfill sites etc.) on their populations.
The research conducted within the Laboratory focuses on determining the distribution, home range , the fragmentation of the habitat, the number and the nutritional structure of medium and large mammals, especially large carnivores.
The results obtained are used in analyses of the prediction of tendencies of certain species of animals towards a certain type of habitat as bases for determining the importance of certain areas for conservation of stable populations of the investigated species. The results of the above-mentioned research and monitoring are for preparation of documents such as Environmental Impact Assessment, Appropriate Assessment, Nature Impact Assessment, etc.
To carry out these researches and monitoring, we use modern methods such as telemetric animal tracking using GPS/VHF collars, digital photo trapping methods, GIS analysis of the data obtained etc.
The head of the Laboratory is Goran Gužvica, PhD and the members are Marko Augustinović, mag. ing. silv. and Monika Petković, mag. educ. biol. et chem. External associates are professor Lidija Šver, PhD and Ratko Popovic, bacc. ing. agr.
Within the Laboratory, the following projects have been implemented:
- Monitoring of motorway permeability for wildlife, Croatian Motorways Ltd., 2017 – 2018
- Monitoring of motorway permeability for wildlife, Croatian Motorways Ltd., 2015 – 2016
- Research and monitoring of wolves in the Biokovo Nature Park, Biokovo Nature Park, 2013 – 2015
- Monitoring of motorway permeability for wildlife, Croatian Motorways Ltd., 2013 – 2014
- Monitoring the impact of landfills on the population of jackals (Canis aureus) in the Lonjsko Polje Nature Park, Lonjsko polje Nature Park, 2011 – 2016
- Anthropogenic impacts on terrestrial macrofauna with emphasis on protected species in the Republic of Croatia (ZIN2/08), Oikon Ltd., 2009
- Monitoring of protected wildlife on the Dravski ritovi area, motorway Beli Manastir –Osijek – Svilaj – Ploče, section Beli Manastir – Osijek, Croatian Motorways Ltd., 2009 – 2010
- Monitoring of water, air, noise, fauna, forest ecosystems and soil along Croatian motorways, Croatian Motorways Ltd., 2009
- Monitoring of wildlife overpasses on the motorway Zagreb – Split – Dubrovnik, section Bosiljevo – Šestanovac, Croatian Motorways Ltd., 2008
- Monitoring of wildlife overpasses and other passages of the 1st category on the route of the gas pipeline system of Lika and Dalmatia (Part 2 – from BS 2 Josipdol to MČS 3 Gospić, Part 3 – from MCS 3 Gospić to PČ / MRS Benkovac, Part 4 – from PČ / MRS Benkovac to PČ / MRS Split), Plinacro Ltd., 2008
- Monitoring of wildlife movement on the 1st part of the pipeline system of Lika and Dalmatia, Plinacro Ltd., 2008
- Identification and proposal of measures to reduce anthropogenic impact on the population of terrestrial carnivores in Croatia, Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund, 2007-2008.
Published scientific papers:
- Gomerčić T., Gužvica G., Đuras-Gomerčić M., Frković A., Pavlović D., Kusak J., Sindičić M., Huber Đ. (2009): Variation in teeth number, teeth and skull disorders in Eurasian lynx, Lynx lynx from Croatia.- Folia Zool. 58(1): 57-65.
- Gužvica G, Bošnjak I, Bielen A, Babić D, Radanović-Gužvica B, Šver L (2014) Comparative Analysis of Three Different Methods for Monitoring the Use of Green Bridges by Wildlife. PLoS ONE 9(8): e106194. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0106194
- Jelaska S.D., Nikolić T., Šerić-Jelaska L., Kušan V., Peternel H., Gužvica G., Major Z.(2010): Biodiversity Analyses in Dalmatia (Croatia): A Complementary Approach Using Diversity and Rarity.- Environmental Management.
- Kusak, J., Huber, Đ., Gomerčić, T., Schwaderer, G., Gužvica, G. (2009): The permeability of highway in Gorski kotar (Croatia) for large mammals.- Eur J Wildl Res (2009) 55: 7-21.
- Šver, L., Bielen, A., Križan, J., Gužvica, G. (2016): Camera Traps on Wildlife Crossing Structures as a Tool in Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) Management – Five- Years Monitoring of Wolf Abundance Trends in Croatia. PLoS ONE. 11(6): doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0156748
Presentations at conferences:
- Gužvica G., Bošnjak I, Bielen A., Babić D., Radanović-Gužvica B., Šver L. (2015) Analysis of methods for wildlife monitoring on green bridges. Book of Abstracts. 12th Croatian Biological Congress with International Participation. Sveti Martin na Muri, Croatia, September 18 – 23, 2015. p 144. [Gužvica, G., poster]
- Gužvica G, Gabrić I., Protrka K., Grgurić Z., Šver L. (2015) The research of wolves in the Nature Park Biokovo – preliminary results. Book of Abstracts. 12th Croatian Biological Congress with International Participation. Sveti Martin na Muri, Croatia, September 18 – 23, 2015. p 145. [Gužvica, G., poster]
- Gužvica G, Šver L (2012) Praćenje negativnog utjecaja izgradnje plinovodnog sustava na funkcionalnost zelenih mostova u Hrvatskoj / Monitoring of the negative impact of the gas pipeline construction on the functionality of green bridges in Croatia. Knjiga sažetaka, 11. Hrvatski biološki kongres, Šibenik, Hrvatska, 16. – 21. 9. 2012. p. 214.
- Gužvica G, Tomaić J, Šver L (2012) Prvi rezultati istraživanja prisutnosti risa na području sjevernog Velebita metodom digitalnih fotozamki / The first results of lynx presence in the area of the northern Velebit using digital camera traps. Knjiga sažetaka, 11. Hrvatski biološki kongres Šibenik, Hrvatska, 16. – 21. rujna 2012., 106-107.