I arrived safely in Romania and it has been a busy few days, meeting the team and organising trips to find and start documenting the wildlife. We have been concentrating on local areas around Odjula and have had some great success in only a few days and have begun the task of photographing and identifying plants, insects and amphibians. We have undertaken both short and long walks through forests and meadows in search of species to document and have so far found at least four different species of grasshopper, a cricket, three species of orchid, a salamander and a yellow bellied toad, not to mention the Carpathian deer and a family of wild boar. The area is incredible with breathtaking forests and vast amounts of life. So for the first photo, this was taken in a clearing in the forest with low cloud creating a wonderfully atmospheric image.
Hiking through the forest is a wonderful experirence that words cannot explain but unfortunately in many areas of the forest illegal trapping still occurs using both snares and foothold traps, both of which cause suffering to the caught animal as they are not killed when they are trapped and the traps may not be checked for days. During one of our trips through the forest we came across both types of traps along a path with the snare first followed by the foothold trap, luckily our team members saw the traps, disabled and removed them.
So a little more about the wildlife and this area has a huge diversity of species from plants to insects to mammals. The Carpathians are home to a specific deer called the Carpathian Deer which is found nowhere else. It is much larger than the familar red deer and has a long thin face with a dark stripe running along the ridge of the neck. The forests are also home to fire salamanders and yellow bellied toad which mate, lay their eggs and look after their young in pools of water. We have seen both of these species and if you click on the link below you can watch a video of the fire salamander. Fire Salamander
As for the bugs, well there are a lot of them around and some very interesting ones at that, the first photo is of a yet unidentified insect that we found next to the landrover.
The second photo is of one of the many species of grasshopper that we have seen, but this one was a little camera shy and kept hiding behind the grass stem!
We are making good progress with documenting the flora and fauna and as always you can seen a more extensive collection of images and videos on both my Flickr page and new facebook page. Right back to cataloguing images!