A while ago I put a request for information out about mammals in the Carpathian Mountains, especially brown bears, so I thought I should report back.
Well I failed to see bears. We started off in Brasov. The people in our hotel were adamant that bears were no longer coming into the city due to cleaning up of rubbish and translocation of bears. The waiter at our restaurant thought the same, although he wasn’t so sure. We probably should have tried but we’d had an overnight flight, a day in the field and food, booze and a relatively early night were an over-whelming lure. We then spent three nights in the Zarnesti area. Sadly we failed to see any here either, despite a lot of time in the field, including quite a few hours spot lighting.
We did have some mammal success, the highlight being a wild cat – giving pretty good views – near Bran. We also saw mountain chamois at Zarnesti Gorge. Rather strangely our only red squirrel was in the road, just outside Bucharest. A quick break from the Carpathians gave us muskrat at Dubravita fishponds.
We also saw other stuff such as: fire salamander – nine in a day -white-backed woodpecker and ural owl.
A superb place, I’ll definitely be back for another try, and would be even if I’d seen bear.