As part of the Carnivore Dinarica project, we have set up large carnivore info corners at primary schools Pivka and Košana.
We hope the corners will serve as a didactic “tool” for exploring the world of large carnivores and the challenges that the conservation of bears, wolves and lynx pose to humans. The images of nature, of the forests that surround us and their inhabitants, will certainly be an asset to the schools.
The concept of info corners was developed based on the vast knowledge gained by the Ljubljana Biotechnical Faculty and Slovenia Forest Service experts by Mr Marko Slapnik (from the Mozir company NATUR-ETNO ALP), in collaboration with teachers and principals of the two primary schools.
At Pivka Primary School, we dedicated a part of the hallway in front of the staffroom to the area for the demonstration of large carnivores and our coexistence. The hall monitor’s desk still serves as a desk, but it was transformed into a display case showing large carnivore skulls and bones. Over time, we will also use it to display artificial skulls, as well as dermoplastics of large carnivore prey. The students will learn about the lives of large carnivore by discovering the answers “hidden” in pictures. The Pivka school students will be able to watch on-screen footage of monitoring cameras, the so called photo traps. Namely, we placed such cameras, formerly used by the experts, on the info corner “trees” at both schools. Naturally, the Košana info corner also holds the school’s taxidermy bear mount, to which we will subsequently add a used telemetry tracker. The students from both schools received three boxes of jigsaw puzzles and will be able to compare their height with the height of displayed carnivores.
The large carnivores have already left their mark in both corners, while we, in case anyone doesn’t believe us, set up a sand box where students themselves will be able to leave their paw prints.
Although we, unfortunately, will not be able to prepare the opening of the info corners this school year, we believe we will meet the large carnivores at the edge of the school forest in autumn. To make the at-home classes in front of the computer more interesting to our primary schoolers, we are preparing a workshop on large carnivores with experts from our partner organisations, in which they will be able to participate remotely in May.
The forests of our planet would not be the same without large carnivores.