„International Wildlife Research Week“ without „international“ – for the first time in the 15-year history of the Swiss Youth in Science the IWRW Week was held without the international participants. The situation due to COVID-19 forced us to adapt different organisational steps to respect the safety and hygiene rules. Therefore in 2020, 24 young people from Switzerland received the one-time opportunity to explore various animal and plant species in the Münstertal (GR) between the 18-25 July 2020.
Although the safety and hygiene rules made it possible for the 24 young people to take part, it required many rules of conduct. Wearing masks in closed rooms, the consistent staying together within small groups and the absence of the international students. „I take much pleasure in the fact that the participants were allowed to be here at all – they accepted all safety precautions and complied with the regulations,“ says one of the camp leaders and biologist Marco Barandun. He is very pleased with the commitment shown by the young students during the field work: „Some of the students were completely absorbed in their role as a field biologist, because especially for young people the lockdown and the distance to their peers had sometimes been difficult“.
One of the research highlights has been the discovery of the western green lizard. Sightings of this type of lizard in the canton of Graubünden is very rare. The student group leaded by Luis Lietha discovered the animal with binoculars.
More exciting results can be found in the final reports from IWRW 2020 below.
“I learned how to write a scientific report and how to collect data for it. I also learned some interesting facts about the alpine flora and fauna which I hadn ‘t known before. And of course, I made a lot of new friends, which made me curious about new projects.”
Soraya Schwensow, Kantonsschule am Burggraben
“This International Wildlife Research Week was a wonderful experience. It was incredible meeting new people, working with them and this week’s very inspiring leading biologists as well as getting a glimpse of what fieldwork looks like. I wish this week would have lasted longer and would suggest participation to everyone who is either interested in biology, flora and fauna of swiss mountains or just wants to meet new people and have a great time.”
Anna Zakharenko, Kantonsschule am Burggraben
“Good vibes in the group, interesting research topics and well organized programm were positive aspects to during study week. Sometimes work and group organisation takes a lot of time, but group experts did a really good job with their inputs during this process. Overall, it was a sustainable experience with a lot of work-hours and nice people to work with.”
Valentin Herzog, ISME- Interstaatliche Maturitätsschule für Erwachsene
Final Reports from IWRW 2020
– Has fertilizer input an effect on plant diversity?
– Estimating fertilizer input using indicator plant species
– The effect of different land use types on butterfly Diversity
– Relation between grasshopper diversity and land use type
– In search of the Western Green Lizard
– The influence of the habitat on the presence of amphibians in Val Müstair
– Distribution of hedgehogs in the Val Müstair