We have found the discarded tracking collar of Goran Zip the Lynx!!!
In early January the GPS tracking collar worn by Goran Zip the Lynx stopped transmitting data, although it had been programmed to stop working and fall off on 9 February 2016, exactly one year after the lynx had been caught and fitted. We assumed the collar had ceased operating earlier than expected or had possibly dropped off in an area with no GSM coverage. The only way to find the collar would be in a field search using a VHF receiver and corresponding antennas to locate the VHF signal transmitted by the collar.
We undertook two telemetric field searches but because Goran Zip’s territory covers an area of about 200 km², and winter conditions and snow made it impossible for us to move around easily in the mountain region, we decided the most efficient way of locating the collar’s signal would be from the air.
In April we organized a flyover of Gorski Kotar and Goran Zip’s territory in a light, Cessna type, aircraft, which we had previously fitted with antennas and a receiver for catching VHF signals. We took off from the Grobnik Sports Airfield. The flight was a success because we were able to receive a strong VHF signal from Goran Zip’s collar and identify the area on the ground to be searched. The area was searched the very same day and we found the collar, just east of the road between Breza and Stalak. The collar fell off because the drop-off system had been activated. After buying new batteries, we will be able to reuse the collar to fit a new lynx. We hope to record Goran Zip’s continuing presence with the help of camera traps.
During the flyover we also identified the signals of Burni Zip the Lynx and one of the three bears in the Gorski Kotar region carrying GPS tracking collars.