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Photograph courtesy of Biosphere Expeditions
SLOVAKIA
Tracking a Wild Pack

Thirteen years ago, British biologist Robin Rigg ventured into Slovakia’s Carpathian Mountains to study wolves, and he never left. During the course of his research, he has published multiple studies on the canids, founded the Slovakia Wolf Census Program, and, on several occasions, crept to within 15 feet of his carnivorous subjects. Now Rigg is looking to the Carpathians’ Tatra Range, whose 8,000-foot-plus peaks are host to what is becoming a serious hunting problem. “Hunters tend to greatly exaggerate the numbers of wolves and lynx,” says Rigg, “which leads to unjustified persecution.” His plan is to take stock of the wildlife with the help of Biosphere Expeditions, which will send travelers to Rigg’s outpost for the first time this winter. The expedition base is a cottage surrounded by thick Norway spruce on the flanks of the Tatras, and the “research” includes tromping around in snowshoes, helping Rigg determine the animals’ group size, movements, and habits. The chances of seeing a wolf or lynx are on the low side, but it pays to be vigilant: Brown bears, wild boars, and golden eagles also call these mountains home.

Outfitter: Biosphere Expeditions; biosphere-expeditions.org
Price: $1,590 ($$)
Length: 7 days
Departs: January–February

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