Kilian Junker

Research Interests

How will the wolf (Canis lupus) recolonize the canton of Neuchâtel ?

After a Bachelor of Biology at the University of Neuchâtel and a specialization in conservation, I am currently doing my master thesis about the subject of top predators in Switzerland.

The return of the wolf in Switzerland poses a problem: how can we make this big predator cohabit with traditional pastoralism. The wolf is indeed a supplementary threat to the small-scale sheep breeding. This is a challenge for the conservation of this species. Understanding and predicting range expansion can be an interesting tool to lower depredation risk and to enhance the cohabitation between wolves and humans.

Although the species was inferred to the Western European Alps (Valais, Tessin, Grison), a recent data showed a reproduction proof in the Jura Mountains. Added to a first observation in Neuchâtel in 2013, there is every reason to believe that the wolf will soon recolonize this canton.

The goal of my work is to determine which parts of the canton is suitable for the wolf, based on informatical/geographical projections and on field work.