Hettersheim Being in nature and seeing animals in the wild can be equally exciting and relaxing on animal watching trips. But there are rules that you should know and follow.
The rise of the bird song begins early in the morning at 5 am. Participation is voluntary – but Thomas Grayson Pfluger is amazed every time he joins his morning walks before breakfast. The 67-year-old is the co-founder of Birdingtours, a company that specializes in bird trips.
The start looks like this for everyone involved in the morning ride: a two-hour hike, then breakfast at the hotel and then a move to the actual target area.
In small groups of about 15 participants, depending on the excursion, we go to the coast, to a lake or pond, to fields, meadows or to the forest. In fact, you are in nature and outdoors all day long. Always with you: a knowledgeable tour guide.
Relax like yoga
“When we watch birds, we go out and look at something beautiful. It’s yoga-like relaxation,” says Grayson Pfluger. Most travelers are not initially interested in putting rare animals in front of their lens. Instead, it’s about experiencing nature and immersing yourself in observation.
After dinner, for example, we return to the swamp to see the night. This nocturnal bird can be observed at dawn. There are a number of legends surrounding it. “Because it’s racing through the air with its mouth wide open and catching mites,” says the expert.
Birds can be seen in many places in Germany. In the Wadden Sea, for example, chirroses, snipes, sand plates, and terns can be observed. In the Black Forest “there are still rare woodpeckers and woodpeckers,” says Grayson Pflug. With a little luck, a lemon canary or a mountain sucker will turn up.
Be understanding and enlightened
No matter where you go on a tour: the animals should not be disturbed. The basic rule of restless observations is simple: always stay on marked paths and never enter closed areas. When crossing meadows, for example, land breeders will be disturbed and nests destroyed.
One has to be especially sensitive during the breeding and settling season, advises Jennifer Kramer of the German Conservation Union (NAPO). In general, it is best to keep your distance from yourself. Therefore, binoculars are considered part of the device.
Wild animals should never be touched or picked up. “Unfortunately, this often happens during the birds’ breeding season. Then the young birds flutter from their nests and look helpless. Too many are collected each year,” Kramer says. “Most of the time these birds are not helpless. So you should know in advance.”
This is possible, for example, in more than 80 nature conservation centers in Naboo in Germany, but also in nature parks and national park centers.
Caution with a guarantee of surveillance
How do you find trustworthy service providers? According to Kramer, she reads very carefully whether one goes to protected areas and how they are treated. “Nature is nature, and wild animals live there,” she says. “When in doubt, you don’t see it.” If the provider promises to do so, alarm bells should ring.
From their point of view, how environmental education is provided is also important. “Good providers provide information about species protection and conservation and they always have an educational character.”
On the trail of wolves
This also applies to observation tours of an animal that does not have a good reputation and is mainly found in eastern Germany. Although wolves are found in all federal states, areas in Lusatia are especially inhabited.
“Wolves live in a completely territorial area in the range of 100 to 250 square kilometres. There are an average of five to twelve animals within this area,” says Stephen Heeber, a wolf officer in the state of Brandenburg and a tour guide at Wolfland Tours. young wolves, so they can no longer grow in a certain area,” explains the seemingly small number of wolves in each area.
In sandy Brandenburg you can easily find tracks of wolves on his tours. This does not mean that animals are tracked or even pursued in this way. exactly the contrary.
“We are interested in educating and protecting these special animals and conflict-ridden species,” Heber says. Wolf migrations are all about learning more about animals and their behaviour. This can be done on day trips or multi-day trips.
The only guest in nature
On a multi-day tour, a wolf officer gives a visibility probability of about 50 to 70 percent, depending on the season. The promise of a 100% chance would be questionable. Because visibility can never be guaranteed.
“Of course, humans are only guests in nature and should act accordingly,” Heber says. The rules of conduct should be mentioned and implemented in the concept of tours, in his opinion. Tours with a small number of participants are recommended.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220706-99-928581 / 4
Here is the photo gallery: On the trail of wolves and their partners: Be careful when watching animals