Co-author Irina Rotenko
Since May 2021 in the protected area of Naliboki Forest consisting slightly more than one thousand square kilometres we traced six wolf litters. Altogether there were 35-40 wolf pups. In the mid-July there were registered 15 pups (2, 8 and 5). In September only one breeder group saved 4 pups. These breeder group consisted of mother, father and another adult female, which was like a pup-sitter. Till December they lost 3 more pups. In the beginning of January 2022 merely one pup walked with the three adult wolves there. That pup was the only single one in the the protected area of Naliboki Forest and the whole Naliboki Forest in the beginning of 2022.
Among the causes of disappearance of the pups, the following ones may be listed. One wolf burrow-den with six pups was destroyed by a brown bear in May in the Navusts’ locality.
One breeding group (three breeding females and two adult males; the case of pack triple-breeding) at the Biarezina medium-sized river, having three litters initially, lost all the pups till August. In the area of their stay three adult male lynxes were registered by camera-traps in proximity to the wolf litters in repeated occasions. So, we blame these adult male lynxes in killing of the pups. In previous years we well-documented killing of wolf pups by adult male lynxes in this area. One of the male – killer of wolf pups (we call Jury) stays in the area still.
One more wolf family in the localities of Jamno-Budy-Shubin, perhaps, suffered from two adult male lynxes, too. The adult male lynxes were registered in proximity to them in repeated occasions.
One more wolf litters could be killed by either bison or adult male lynx or stags. All of them very frequently registered by camera-traps in proximity to the pups.
There was no hunting on wolves or working of wolf pup searchers in the protected area of Naliboki Forest in 2021.