Video-results of the study on wolf denning in May 2021 in Naliboki Forest: again wolves denned in burrows only and no more on open couches

Co-authors: Irina Rotenko and Gerard Oonk

In the last year after our study on denning in wolves in May 2020 we have already reported about the peculiar situation in denning by wolves in Naliboki Forest, the central-western Belarus. Wolf breeders stopped denning on open coaches as it used to be, and they began denning in burrows exclusively, when mammals (red deer, bison, elk, lynx, brown bear), which are characterized by aggressive behaviour to pups, got plenty altogether in this forested terrain.

In May 2021 we discovered four active wolf dens and traced the denning behaviour of two wolf breeding groups having two and three breeding females (both cases of a multi-breeding in a wolf pack). All the five breeding female wolves kept pups in burrows only. Altogether we found 33 wolf burrow-dens that were used for denning: 7 self-made by wolves and 26 enlarged badger-setts and outliers. Interestingly, that 11 out of 26 badger burrows were wolf burrow-dens before (2-7 years ago). No any wolf couch-dens were found in May 2021, while before such a situation that is inimical for wolf denning they denned on open couches and pits.

See the video below for the details of denning in wolves in Naliboki Forest during May 2021.

Brown bear attack on a wolf den in Naliboki Forest, central-western Belarus

Co-author Irina Rotenko

Every May we continue our long-term study on behaviour and ecology of denning wolves. Since 2004 the terrain of Naliboki Forest (the central-western part of Belarus) has been the main study area for the question. Since 2018 the brown bear has become more or less common there. It appears possible to investigate the interspecific interactions of brown bears and wolves and particularly during denning period in wolves.

Continue reading “Brown bear attack on a wolf den in Naliboki Forest, central-western Belarus”

Book “Reading mammal activity signs” has been published

Recently I published a new book “Reading mammal activity signs. Experience of 40 years in Naliboki Forest and Paazierre Forest, Belarus”. It is published in two versions as a hard copy and as an e-book (print replica).

The book language is English. It consists of 440 pages and includes 1608 illustrations, mainly photos of mammal doing activity signs and activity signs themselves.

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Does the Eurasian lynx avoid strictly cold water?

Co-author Irina Rotenko

It looks like among both amateurs and researchers of the Eurasian lynx an opinion is wide-spread that the species strictly avoids cold water, in particular crossing cold waters of streams by swimming. Before camera-trapping by dealing with lynxes already quite a lot (study on population dynamics and diet in connection with changes in prey supply), we think like that, too.

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Story of consuming of four carcasses of roe deer killed by adult male lynx with implication for a role of adult male in feeding of kittens

Co-author Irina Rotenko

One of the most important pressing questions of the Eurasian lynx behaviour and ecology is a role of an adult male in family life. It is well known that an adult male lynx accepts from one to three adult females in its home range. So, it may be up to three lynx mothers with kittens in the territory that is occupied by an adult male lynx. In our case in Naliboki Forest (central-western Belarus) there were usually two such families, rarer one or three families inside a territory of an adult male lynx.

Continue reading “Story of consuming of four carcasses of roe deer killed by adult male lynx with implication for a role of adult male in feeding of kittens”

Usage of big nest on tree as a calling-resting-watching platform by lynxes

Co-author Irina Rotenko

In 2019-2020 in Naliboki Forest (central-western Belarus) by means of registration of tracks at tree butt and claw marks on trunk we found that in February-April lynxes used climbing on two pine trees which had a raven nest. After several lynx climbing the nests were almost destroyed and finally disappeared. We could not take photos of that lynx behaviour, however, all the signs, that we observed, definitely suggested that the lynxes were on the nests.

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Dying of wild ungulates in the harsh conditions of too deep snow cover and which scavengers consume their carcasses

Co-author Irina Rotenko

In Belarus deep snow cover conditions higher mortality in wild ungulates in particular wild boars and roe deer.

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Using of cavity-shelters by Eurasian lynxes in Belarus as non-rocky forested region

Coauthor Irina Rotenko

In mountain rocky regions it is well-known that Eurasian lynxes use cavity-shelters that situated under or between rocks, whereas in non-rocky forested regions such a behaviour of the species is not so evident. Recently we found that lynxes use cavity-shelters in such habitats a lot, too. We investigated this question on lynx behaviour in Naliboki Forest (central-western Belarus) by means of camera-trapping, snowtracking and detailed inspection of lynx habitats with checking for lynx hair.

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Snowtracking of attack on brown bear by five wolves

Yesterday in Naliboki Forest (central-western part of Belarus) I faced with interesting wolf-bear track trails, which evidenced that five wolves attacked brown bear (not big, not small one).

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Summary on the wolf triple-breeding group that we traced in 2020 and partial split in the pack by late autumn

Coauthor Irina Rotenko

In 2020 we published series of posts (1); (2); (3); (4); (5) about triple-breeding pack of wolves, which consisted of three semi-independent breeding couples. This breeding group and the whole pack was led by one of the breeding females that we call Torn Ear. She was easily recognisable on photos due to really torn right ear.  

Continue reading “Summary on the wolf triple-breeding group that we traced in 2020 and partial split in the pack by late autumn”