PREVENTER OF CONFLICTS
By Muskwa Wild http://muskwawild.eu/
For our mission to safeguard the European brown bear (Ursus arctos arctos) and its habitat there is one major key to success: coexistence between humans and predators. The simple facts are that in most places humans experience predator presence as a problem. For example in the Romanian Carpathians, our working area, these problems consist out of conflicts between rural people and predators. Farmers, bee keepers and shepherds suffer damage due to the efficient and practical nature of predators, which is: predation on easy prey or other food sources.
The main goal of wild animals is survival , a very important note to add is: that while doing that they all play an important and unmistakable role in the wellbeing of the ecosystem. The opportunity to catch an easy meal like: livestock, honey and fruit is just too good to let pass. To survive in the wild there is one basic rule: waste as less energy as possible while reaching the maximum level of success. That basic rule results in “the survival of the fittest” and keeps ecosystems healthy, biodivers and dynamic.
To conserve nature we stimulate coexistence, which means we help both humans and nature in the same area. Conflicts are best to be prevented. For that we use descent conflict prevention measures in rural areas with predator presence. In the Romanian Carpathians, where the herding of livestock trough nature is both tradition and actuality, the most important and effective prevention measure is: the use of good livestock protection dogs. The implementing of dogs is executed in several, international predator conservation projects as prevention tool and the popularity of it is rising.
In our Conflict Prevention Project (CPP) we also use livestock protection dogs. In earlier periods; several dogs were already donated to shepherds in various Romanian regions by the Life Extra Project that started in2009 and will end in 2013. The breed that they use is the Carpathian Shepherd Dog (Ciobanesc Romanesc Carpatin) 
. Our CPP aims to promote, extend and optimize prevention measures by starting to implement it step by step in a small area. To notify ourselves about the qualities and abilities of the Carpatins we decided to examine the dogs ourselves. Our aim is to assure ourselves choosing the right breed, gain knowledge and experience to finally document our conclusions in a report.
During earlier fieldwork we already observed and monitored a variety of “shepherd dogs” including Carpatin puppies and juveniles from the Life Extra Project. Although the Carpatins were still young dogs we noticed differences between them and other “shepherd dogs”. They were very relaxed towards us and were not wasting too much energy and attention to us, since we are no threat to the sheep. Most of the other “shepherd dogs” were running to us like crazy; barking and growling. In some of these shepherd camps we also witnessed and documented dead livestock, killed by predators. Not a good sign when numbers of 8- 14 “shepherd dogs” are present. Dogs that are there to guard and protect the flock from predators.
In April 2011 we visited a dog exposition in Brasov where three breeders of Carpatins were also present and attending. We were introduced to each other by our partner Zoltan Szekely, who already knew them from the Life Extra Project. We talked about our project, the dogs and our wish to monitor as much Carpatins as possible. The Carpatin breeders we met are from Bistrita: Andrei Petru Deak, Bogdan Iclenzan and Daniel Balaban. All members of the only official Carpatin breed association: Carpatin Club Romania 
. We witnessed them presenting three Carpatins in the ring, all of them originating from Canisa (kennel) de Transilvania owned by a part of the breeds history: Mr. Vasile Iclenzan 
. The three dogs had an eye-catching appearance, even among other Carpatins that were present in the ring. During the exposition we agreed that we would visit them and other breeders during the summer in Bistrita to perform our Carpatin research.
So we did in July 2011 we traveled to Bistrita for a period of 9 days. In Bistrita we experienced a warm welcome and during the days we visited a lot of breeders and witnessed a lot of Carpatins from all ages. Every time we observed the behavior of the dogs towards us, their owners, livestock and each other. We performed even more intensive monitoring on Carpatins at shepherd camps, because that is what it is all about for us and for the dogs. We talked with the breeders, shepherds and other owners of Carpatins and heard their stories. Stories that were all alike, praising everything this breed possesses. These stories go way back in history and are unchanged today 
We noticed very calm and stable behavior with all the dogs, knowing when to act and when to stay relaxed. When entering on a property guarded by Carpatins their presence is well displayed, but due to the presence of the owner the dogs felt that the situation was ok and under control. The dogs spend the often hot days relaxing to save their energy, only reacting when they feel it’s necessary. Visitors with good intentions are accepted on their ground. Other dogs and wildlife are not! When they sense “intruders” in the area they react by confronting it at the front line, barking loud and with display of confident, firm body language 
While we were exploring the beautiful scenery of this part of the Carpathians we came across several shepherds and shepherd camps. More or less all of them had Carpatins. More opportunities for us to see the behavior of these dogs. A very significant behavior was the positioning of the dogs and their team work as a pack. Several dogs positioned themselves, many times well camouflaged, on high overseeing positions. Other dogs stayed close to the sheep, moving along slowly in the pass of the grazing flock. Their behavior shows much resemblance with that of wolves, which is no coincidence when one knows their origin
. None of the guardians we encountered bothered to waste energy on us, sensing that we were no threat to their flock.
This monitoring period convinced us about the Carpatin being the right choice of breed. These guardians need no help in their task, besides from each other. When one meets the Carpatin; it presents and promotes itself! We are confident and proud to say that: “The Carpathian Shepherd Dog is our Preventer of Conflicts”.(Background information; press to be linked) Breed standard http://carpatinclub.ro/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8&Itemid=6&lang=en Carpatin Club Romania website http://carpatinclub.ro/index.php  The Revival http://carpatinclub.ro/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=36%3Aarticol6&catid=22%3Adespre-carpatin&Itemid=52&lang=en At the sheepfold http://carpatinclub.ro/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=37%3Aarticol8&catid=22%3Adespre-carpatin&Itemid=55&lang=en  Trustful Guardian http://carpatinclub.ro/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=38%3Aarticol9&catid=22%3Adespre-carpatin&Itemid=56&lang=en  The Beginning http://carpatinclub.ro/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=20%3Aarticol2&catid=22%3Adespre-carpatin&Itemid=36&lang=en