Abandoned log piles as habitat spots that are important for lynx families

Quite often clearcuts in Naliboki Forest are full of logging remains. Moreover, sometimes loggers forget one or several piles of logs and they stay there for decades. It is always like a gift for lynxes, particularly the species families. The main  benefit of lynx family is that mother may leave small kittens there, and they will be safe alone in the emptiness under the logs, when the mother goes for hunting. It is especially essential, because  lynxes frequently use a long-lasting hunting from ambuscades, so, kittens need to wait for the mother quite long.

These photos that you see in the post were taken in one such a spot. The late May of this year me and my wife and lynx-assistant Irina Rotenko discovered lynx lair in boggy pine stand at the clearcut. The den was situated between logs (logged pines) densely overgrown by Ledum palustre shrubs.  Later the kittens were hidden by mothers under piles of logs that were abandoned by loggers on the clearcut. There were found remains of three different roe deer that were eaten by the lynxes on the log piles. So, the log piles provided both sheltered stay of kittens, when the mother is absent for hunting, and safe eating of the prey that brought by the mother. So, loggers, please, remember about lynxes.

 

 

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Dramatic situation in the beaver population in Naliboki Forest in relation to hotter and drier summers nowadays

Till the 1960s  Naliboki Forest, which is situated in the north-western Belarus, was a greatly swamped terrain, where on the area about two thousands km2 swamps of various types and sizes were interspersed with dry land forests the terrain-wide. Open grassy marshes constituted about 19%  of the terrain. Approximately a third part of the forest habitats that covered about 76% of the area were swamped too (Sidorovich, 2016). Such a swamped forest was either in kinds of black alder and downy birch mixture (with prevalence of one of the species) or that was raised bogs with suppressed or normal pines. Continue reading “Dramatic situation in the beaver population in Naliboki Forest in relation to hotter and drier summers nowadays”

Survival of the ten pups in that large wolf family in Naliboki Forest: an intermediate report

In one of the previous posts I reported about presence of the large family of wolves in Naliboki Forest that in the last July (i.e. July of 2018) consisted of founding male, two breeding females, two litters with ten pups altogether and two pup-sitters, which were almost all the time with the pups. Presence of these pup-sitters was connected with the extra care of parents to save pups from lynx attacks. The last years in Naliboki Forest in  the conditions of the high number of lynxes (3-5 inds per 100 km2) wolf pup survival was very low; e.g. only about 4% of the wolf pups that were born in the spring of 2017 survived till the winter of 2017-2018. The occasions that wolf pups were killed by lynxes were numerically registered in Naliboki Forest earlier. Continue reading “Survival of the ten pups in that large wolf family in Naliboki Forest: an intermediate report”

Story of the brown bear in Naliboki Forest and the peculiarity of the on-going recolonizing of the terrain by the species

 

 

This post is not just about the  story  of brown bears in Naliboki Forest, but mainly about the registered peculiarity of the on-going recolonizing of this terrain by the species.  At the same time, the whole story of brown bears in Naliboki Forest (as far as it is available to learn) is interesting too and will add extra information for better realizing of the current situation. Continue reading “Story of the brown bear in Naliboki Forest and the peculiarity of the on-going recolonizing of the terrain by the species”

Non-howling silent wolves in Belarus

Every time rereading the excellent wolf monograph by Mech and Boitani (2003), in particular, the item about wolf communication by Harrington and Asa, I was surprised to find out how rich voice-communication of wolves in North America and somewhere else can be. In my study areas in Belarus (look like in the whole country) I can characterize wolves as non-howling let’s say silent.  More and more I become convinced that wolves in Belarus avoid to produce any loud noise.

Continue reading “Non-howling silent wolves in Belarus”

Two wolf litters, two breeding females, founding male and two pup-sitters on a camera-trap in Naliboki Forest

This post gives the documentation by a camera-trap of two different  litters (10 pups altogether), two breeding females of the same wolf pack, the founding male and two pup-sitters in Naliboki Forest. The last feature is particularly essential. One or two pup-sitters were present at pups on about 60% of the hundreds of photos taken. It looks like we have registered the features of another trend in the wolf denning behavior that we haven’t faced with before the lynx got common. That is when breeding wolves use pup-sitters to save their pups from the lynx aggression (see another post for other details), when they go for hunting.

Continue reading “Two wolf litters, two breeding females, founding male and two pup-sitters on a camera-trap in Naliboki Forest”