a 7-day educational expedition about large carnivores, mountain ecology, and modern conservation in the European wild
URSINE EXPLORATION in the SLOVAKIAN HIGH TATRAS

This educational expedition offers enthusiasts of nature and ecology a guided opportunity to experience the wild, in Tatra National Park, Slovakia. Our participants will follow the fresh tracks of brown bears along cascading mountain streams, and through remote alpine valleys; quietly observe the interaction of a rich biodiversity of species, including beaver, three-toed woodpecker, nutcracker and Arolla pine; confront the critical role of ecological disturbances – avalanche, windstorm, insect outbreak, and flood – in mountain ecosystems; experience the magic of ancient forests with scientific precision and artistic spontaneity; and learn about the challenges and opportunities for modern conservation in Eastern European landscapes. With an exploratory emphasis on the magnificent brown bear, participants will become familiar with the scientific approaches to the study of animal ecology – animal tracking, behavioral observations, digiscoping and the deployment of motion-activated cameras; engage the contemplative and artistic process of creating in-field drawings of wild locations; and share hands-on experiences and personal reflections with ecologists, conservation biologists, wildlife movie makers and artists. Throughout the tour we will seek to challenge our relationship with nature and attempt to define a scientific, artistic and cultural baseline for comprehending the European wild.

 Brown Bear 

© Nathan Ranc 

Meals: All meals are included in the expedition price; we will have a balance of packed lunches, home-cooked meals and Slovakian cuisine.

Accommodations: The group will be hosted in a rustic cottage at the entrance of the Tatra National Park (TANAP), along a mountain stream. The cottage will host three or four participants in each room, and includes a small kitchen and an exterior common space. The cottage is located on a campground, where we will have access to all sanitary facilities.

Itinerary Outline: Please find a comprehensive itinerary HERE.

Day 1:

- Meet in Krakow

  at 16:00

- Arrival in the

  Slovakian High

  Tatras

Day 2:

- Bear tracking

  and observation

- Deployment of

  trail cameras

- Introduction to

  digiscoping

Day 3:

- Introductory

  drawing lesson:

  with Jean

  Chevallier in the

  Tatras foothills

- Ancient Arolla

  pine forest

  exploration:

  with Erik Balaz

Day 4:

- Day hike on

  mountain

  ridges

- Viewing and

  discussion of

  wildlife

  documentary

Day 5:

- Early morning

  drawing lesson:

  with Jean at a

  mountain

  stream

- Bear tracking

  and observation

- Evening bear

  drawing lesson:

  with Jean

Day 6:

- Day excursion:

  following the

  tracks and traces

  of brown bears

Day 7:

- Exploration of

  naturally

  regenerating

  forest

- Visit of ongoing

  rewilding

  project

- Wildlife

  watching at

  beaver pond

Day 8:

- Departure: at

  10:00

€TBD for students
€TBD for two participants
7 days for
€TBD
(flights not included)
Dates
TBD 2018
Tour Downloads
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Nathan Ranc at: