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This autumn tour has 3 big target species – Eurasian Lynx, Brown Bear, and Grey Wolf. The main focus is on the lynx, who is also the most secretive of the three species. During different periods, Estonia has been the country with the highest population density and the local individuals are one of the largest in the world. Its’ main prey – Roe Deer, is doing better year after and so is the local lynx population.
Right now, an estimate of about 500 Eurasian Lynx inhabit the forests of Estonia and one of the best areas to spot them is Lahemaa National Park, which is also Estonia’s oldest NP. About a dozen trail cameras give us information about their movements and other technological solutions, such as thermal cameras and LED-lamps help to locate them during dark times. Thus, 4-5 evenings looking for the lynx give us a high probability of seeing one. It must be noted, that looking for lynx means quite a lot of driving around in the dark. Besides a healthy lynx population, there are about 750-800 Brown Bears and 200 Grey Wolves. Although the 3 big predators are the main targets of this tour, we’ll have good chances of spotting Raccoon Dogs, Elk, Red Fox, and Red Squirrel. We’ll also visit a Brown Bear hide in Alutaguse forests, which has the highest density of Brown Bears in Estonia. In autumn bears are trying to fatten up for the forthcoming winter hibernation and actively roaming around the forests searching for food. We’ll not only overnight in the watching hide, but also look for tracks and traces of bear activity before during the daytime. From the hide, we’ll most probably see also Raccoon Dogs, who similarly to bears are opportunistic omnivores and actively look for food through most of the day. Wolf cubs are becoming more and more independent and quiet autumn nights are the best time to hear them howl together with the pack. Daytime will be spent by resting or doing birdwatching trips. Although birds are not a real target for this tour, our guides will definitely keep their ears and eyes open for owls, wild grouse, woodpeckers, and other forest birds.