«International Wildlife Research Week» with «international» again – last year, for the first time in the 15-year history of the Swiss Youth in Science the IWRW Week was held without the international participants. Luckily in 2021 some countries took the opportunity to send students to Switzerland. Therefore, this year besides the 14 participants from Switzerland 8 students from countries like Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Lithuania and Luxembourg could explore various animal and plant species in the Münstertal (GR) between the 19-26 June 2021.
The situation due to COVID-19 forced us to adapt different organisational steps to respect the safety and hygiene rules. The most relevant were the necessary Corona Self-Tests before and during the week. Although the safety and hygiene rules made it possible for the 22 young people to take part, it required many rules of conduct. Wearing masks in closed rooms, the consistent staying together within small groups, etc. But all this did not have an influence on the atmosphere during the week.
All students, camp leaders as well as the kitchen team were able to live together in great harmony and gain good experiences during the camp, be it during the field work or at the campfire in the evening. They could also benefit from the good weather during the week in the eastern part of Switzerland, while the rest of the country was constantly hit by thunderstorms.
A lot of different projects could be conducted during the week. The students showed great motivation while collecting & evaluating data, writing their project reports and presenting the results on Friday to the other groups. Please read the results in the final reports at the end of the page.
“I have learned again why I actually enjoy biology and why I chose this focus. It was a wonderful week where you could gather lots of new experiences and get to know new leaders. The evenings by the fire were just fantastic.” Jessica Kissling, Gymnasium Liestal
“I enjoyed the study week in the Val Müstair a lot. The guides were all extremely motivated to share their knowledge and spending time with us. Writing the report was a very helpful practice for further projects and working with the group was very pleasant.” Laila Fässler, Alte Kantonsschule Aarau
“It has been a very interesting week at many levels: working in a scientific way, interacting with international students and learning every day some more English.” Sabina Passuelo, Liceo Diocesano
“I absolutely loved it. Guides and other students were amazing, all the presentations, hikes, fieldwork, projects were really interesting. Once in a lifetime experience!.” Eliise Kesküla, Estonia
Research Projects from IWRW 2021 (Link to the final reports):
– Comparison of plant species diversity on meadows with different fertilization regimes in the Val Müstair
– Comparison of the effects of Auals and natural streams on the surrounding plant species diversity
– The impact of different land use types on butterfly diversity and abundance
– Influences of Land Use on Grasshopper Populations
– Habitat factors causing the niche separation of Vipera aspis and Vipera berus in the Val Müstair
– Manmade ecosystems –biodiversity within Auals of Val Müstair
– The reaction of Marmota marmota after anthropogenic disturbance
– Habitat preferences of ibex, chamois and red deer in Val Müstair