On the 15th of July, the first LIFEstockProtect training day for reserve game animals took place in Lower Austria. Hosting this event was the Competence Centre Wimmer, which as well as a couple of goats, horses, and chickens, keeps 23 fallow deer in a 2-hectare large pen on 2 fields. Half of the pen is surrounded by woods, which makes a good cover for large carnivores. With lynxes spotted in the area, proper securing of the pen is vital.
The first step was to drill the ground in preparation and distribute the material. Once this was done, simple insulators were screwed in, followed by more advanced ones being hammered in and fixed with hooks. To protect from the lynx, 2 bands placed at 20 cm and 60 cm distance from the ground were used. Then there was the construction of the gates – two for regular, one for annual use. For the electrification process, the cable was fastened and pulled tight before the technical elements were added. A challenge of construction was not only the gradient of the pen, but also the grounding, with too much stone in the ground. To solve this issue, a metal tape was laid in the earth. All in all, construction took about 5 hours, with a short coffee break in between.
After a long and satisfying day, the participants sat down for a delicious dinner of bread, pasta salad and beer. The group of participants, which consisted of 12 game reserve owners, foresters, hunters, consortium members and a wildlife park owner, held lively conversations about the use of livestock protection as a measure for preventing depredation.
The team would like to thank all participants for taking part in the training, and a special thanks to Doris Wimmer for her excellent event planning and hospitality.