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Dutch Students did Internship in NTG

This spring, four Dutch students – Bart Meijer (24),  Michiel Poolman (23), Anneloes Tukker (19) and Twan Uijlen (20)  did their internship in the Eastern Rhodopes for New Thracian Gold project (wilderness component).

Bart and Michiel, students in Forestry and Nature Conservation at the University of Applied Sciences VanHall Larenstein made for around two months a research on the diet of the wolf in springtime in the area of Madzharovo, Studen Kladenets Reserve and the village of Sbor, Krumovgrad Municipality.  „The wolf is a very interesting subject because is one of the last big predator in the European wilderness and is almost returned in the Netherlands“, Bart explains. „One of our goals was to actually see a Wolf“, Michiel added. He and Bart were very happy to succeed this goal. „We also saw some other mammals like: Wild Cat, Jackal. It was very interesting to see this part of Europe and the local and diversity in humans and cultures“, Michiel tells. Bart is also impressed by the nature in the Eastern Rhodopes: „The nature in the Eastern Rhodopes is very beautiful and it was very interesting to see nature in a wilder form than I’m used to in the Netherlands. We have seen many species, with the wolf on top of the long list. I loved the culture in Eastern Rhodopes. It’s more relaxed and slower than in the Netherlands. I realy enjoyed my stay in the beautiful area“.

Anneloes and Twan, who just graduated my study Ecology & Wildlife at Helicon Geldermalsen did a survey on the conflict between wolf and human. „The purpose of this study was to clarify the opinion of the locals about the wolf and to use this information for conservation of the wolf and other animals”, Anneloes explains.  She and with Twan have interviewed around 100 local inhabitants of the Eastern Rhodopes about the wolf and the damages it causes. “It was really interesting for me to talk with the inhabitants and see the differences between them. The findings of the survey record date of the damages and the opinion of the local inhabitants like we aimed for”, Anneloes says.  Twan who soon starts his education for a teacher in biology shares the opinion of his colleague that their study was very interesting: „We talked to a lot of people about their loss and the problem they have with the wolf. We also talked to them about possible solutions. The solutions they gave sometimes were funny to very well thought off”. Anneloes is delighted by her stay in Bulgaria: “I loved my stay in Bulgaria. The food is tasty, the inhabitants are really kind and helpful and the nature is simply just beautiful and so pristine.  It has been an educational internship, and I very much want to go back someday”.

NTG team leader Frank Zanderink, also a student broker from ARK sees an enormous willingness by Dutch students to go to Bulgaria and especially to the Rhodopes.  Most of them are attracted by the wolf but also tourism and wilderness in general are the appealing topics.  „They all come back with wonderful stories and good experiences. And I'm proud that my Bulgarian colleagues are helping them out in a terrific way”, Frank says.

So far, 14 student have done their educational internships in New Thracian Gold project, mainly in the wilderness and eco-tourism components.

 

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