Inventory of large carnivores

The first part of the inventory of large carnivores in the Oituz-Ojdula Natura 2000 site was completed, as part of the “Elaboration of the Natura 2000 Oituz-Ojdula Management Plan” project.

As a result of the movements between August and September, it was highlighted that large carnivore species are present in the Oituz-Ojdula site, traces of bear and wolf have been identified, and traces of bobcats in one place. The trips were carried out 1-2 days after the rain, in order to allow enough time for the species to move in order to accumulate traces.

Following inventories and analyzes, experts estimated that the number of bears present on the Natura 2000 Oituz-Ojdula site is around 30-50. Also, in the wolf’s case, they estimated a population of 4-6 wolves. Regarding species bobcat, they found only one trace, which proves only its presence in the site.

For a more accurate estimation it is necessary to continue the inventories in winter and to perform the counting with transects method.

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“Ranger for Protected Areas” course

In the period of 6-10 August and 13-17 August the “Ranger for Protected Areas” course took place, attended by two persons from the Private Forest District of Breţcu, the custodian of the Oituz-Ojdula Natura 2000 site. The two training sessions took place in Brasov, at the Propark Foundation for Protected Areas office, and in the Oituz-Ojdula site.

During this course the participants gained knowledge about the interpersonal communication elements and the relationship with the communities, basic elements of the protected areas, the role and attributions of the ranger, visitor management, monitoring, patrolling and guarding, risk situations and first aid, conservation biodiversity management, land techniques (orientation, meteorology, monitoring, use of equipment) and animation for nature.

Participants received course presentation folders containing: printed course materials, note supports, pens. The course was interactive, with a theoretical part, the participants being actively involved, during the training sessions, through discussions and debates and by group exercises that supported the theoretical information presented in the materials produced.

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Inventory of forest habitats

The first part of the inventory of forest habitats in the Oituz-Ojdula Natura 2000 site was completed, as part of the “Elaboration of the Natura 2000 Oituz-Ojdula Management Plan” project.

The Oituz-Ojdula Natura 2000 site (situated in the Breţcu Mountains) is a territory with forest habitats such as beech, spruce and alder forests. Beech forests meet along the valleys of Oituz and Ojdula. Here we find species characteristic of montane and submontane beech forests, such as woodruff (Asperula odorata), wood anemone (Anemone nemorosa), wood spurge (Euphorbia amygdaloides), Solomon’s-seal (Polygonatum verticillatum), wood speedwell (Veronica montana), cardamine glanduligera (Dentaria glandulosa), roadside fescue (Festuca drymeja), white butterbur (Petasites albus).

In acidophilic sites, often in recesses, with percolated soil, acidophilous species of beech forests appear in the grassy layer, for example wood bluegrass (Poa nemoralis),  white wood-rush (Luzula luzuloides), reedgrass (Calamagrostis arundinacea), wood-sorrel (Oxalis acetosella) were found. Acidic species really appear primarily on the edge of forests, mountain pastures, or spruce forests. Of these, we have the European blueberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), the lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea), the common heather (Calluna vulgaris), the Stag’s-horn clubmoss (Lycopodium clavatum) and the northern firmoss (Huperzia selago).

Plants specific to the Dacian woods of beech are the common comfrey (Symphytum cordatum) and the red lungwort (Pulmonaria rubra), found along the streams, but also spread throughout the territory.

Dacian beech forests occupy larger areas, however, there are only a few species-rich spots. Here one may find the long beech fern (Phegopteris connectilis), enchanter’s nightshade (Circaea alpina), February daphne (Daphne mezereum), ghost orchid (Epipogium aphyllum).

In the beech forests we also find plants specific to hot and dry areas, such as wood melic (Melica uniflora), yellow foxglov (Digitalis grandiflora), and black pea (Lathyrus niger).

The grassy layer of spruce forests resembles beech woods, but in the absence of light, there are several acidophilous species, such as the ne-flowered wintergreen (Moneses uniflora) and sidebells wintergreen (Orthilia secunda).

Of all types of forests the richest and most interesting in species are the alder, near the brooks. These forests are made of gray alder (Alnus incana), interesting fact that the gray alder is present up to the edge of the Natura 2000 site, on the Ojdula side. Outside the site appears the black alder. Besides the species characteristic of these forests – such as the heartleaf oxeye (Telekia speciosa), white hellebore (Veratrum album), valerian (Valeriana simplicifolia), the large bitter-cress (Cardamine amara), ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris) – more rare species occur, the giant bellflower (Campanula latifolia), the broomrape (Orobanche flava), the parasite of butterbur (Petasites hybridus).

In the Oituz Valley there are extensive meadows (after deforestation), some are drier and some of them are humid, and there are a large number of different species: the european globeflower (Trollius europaeus), the sneezeweed (Achillea ptarmica), and the sedge species (Carex canescens, Carex echinata, Carex nigra and Carex rostrata).

At the edge of the forests there are dispersed swamps with the species characteristic of these habitats, which are not found in other parts of the site: common mouse-ear chickweed (Cerastium sylvaticum), wood horsetail (Equisetum sylvaticum), common cottongrass (Eriophorum angustifolium), flat-sedge (Blysmus compressus), ragwort (Senecio subalpinus).

On mountain pastures we can find the matgrass (Nardus stricta), but in the more grazing places we find the bentgrass (Agrostis spp.). Another plant specific to the meadows and forest edges is the Peucedanum oreoselinum, which marks a sandy soil.

In places where rocks appear, in the beech forests and in the ditches appear plants as common polypody (Polypodium vulgare) and other fern species.

In habitats with forests and lawns, allogeneic species do not have the necessary conditions to grow, however, along the roads they may appear in a smaller number, for example slender rush (Juncus tenuis), gallant soldier (Galinsoga parviflora), shaggy soldier (Galinsoga quadriradiata), seaberry (Hippophae rhamnoides), and even near the national road black locust (Robinia pseudacacia).

There are currently 460 vascular plants, but ongoing botanical analyzes will certainly increase this number.

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Inventory of bat population

The first part of the inventory of bat populations in the Oituz-Ojdula Natura 2000 site was completed, as part of the “Elaboration of the Natura 2000 Oituz-Ojdula Management Plan” project. The studying of bats is difficult because of their hidden and special lifestyle. During the field inventory, nocturnal research was carried out at the feeding places, while during daytime the day habitats were checked. In the case of night observations the capture method with mist nets was used, complemented with acoustic methods. The big advantage of capturing bats with the help of mist nets is that the individuals can be perfectly identified, but its disadvantage is the small small number of bats that are captured. The following sepcies were captured with the nest method: Western barbastelle (Barbastella barbastellus), Leisler’s bat (Nyctalus leisleri), Brandt’s bat (Myotis brandtii) and Natterer’s bat (Myotis nattereri). The acoustic method records bat’s echo sounds, which results a large number of data, with the use of an appropriate amount of equipment, although some race groups have very similar sounds, and can not often be identified at the racial level. The analysis of the recorded acoustic data is in process, but the first results are encouraging, the marker species have already been detected at several sampling points.

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Inventory of amphibian populations

The first part of the inventory of amphibian populations in the Oituz-Ojdula site Natura 2000 was completed, as part of the Elaboration of the Management Plan of Natura 2000 Oituz-Ojdula site project. In addition to the target species, such as the yellow-bellied toad (Bombina variegata) and the crested newt (Triturus cristatus), specialists had the opportunity to enjoy the charming nature and the presence or traces of many other species.

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Ecological education activities for schoolchildren on the Oituz-Ojdula site

Within the project „Elaboration of the Natura 2000 Oituz-Ojdula Management Plan”, Activity A.2.1. „Ecological education activities in schools around the Oituz-Ojdula site” ecological education programs were organized for children in localities nearby the Oituz-Ojdula protected area.
After the theoretical education at the end of May, schoolchildren also had field education. Thus children from Ojdula (on 28th of May), from Breţcu (on 5th of June) and from Lemnia (on the 12th of June) visited a beatiful valley and a stream close to Oituz. Schoolchildren from Oituz visited a pasture with trees, close to Ojdula, on the 4th of June. Within the educational program, children were divided into groups. With the help of luffs and determiners they responded to questions related to trees, insects, aquatic invertebrates, vertebrates and plants. The children enthusiastically jumped from one stone to another, looking for signs of life under the stones of the stream. They had time to play, run, and playfully learn about the protected species of the site.
The project of Private Forest District of Breţcu, in partnership with the Vinca Minor Association is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Large Infrastructure Operational Programme 2014-2020.

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Ecological education activities in schools around the Oituz-Ojdula site

Within the project „Elaboration of the Natura 2000 Oituz-Ojdula Management Plan”, Activity A.2.1. „Ecological education activities in schools around the Oituz-Ojdula site” ecological education programs were organized for children in localities nearby the Oituz-Ojdula protected area. On the 22th May in Lemnia and on the 28th May in Breţcu activities were organized for three age groups: preschoolers, schoolchildren from grades I-IV and V-VIII, and on the 29th May in Mărtănuş for preschoolers and schoolchildren in grades I-IV.

During the activities, signed t-shirts and pens were disseminated for all the children, while workbooks for schoolchildren and coloring leaflets for preschool children.

Project co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Large Infrastructure Operational Programme 2014-2020.

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