Results of study on wolves in Naliboki Forest in the winter of 2022-2023

Co-author Irina Rotenko

During the winter of 2022-2023, we continued our study on the wolf distribution in Naliboki Forest, the north-western Belarus.

In the early winter we faced with rather low number of wolves in Naliboki Forest. In the area of about 2 thousands square kilometers there were found only two wolf packs of 6 and 5 inds as well as two lone wolves and two wolf pairs. So, a total in Naliboki Forest there were 17 wolves or slightly fewer than one wolf per 100 square kilometers of the forested terrain. The area around Naliboki Forest up 20 km as wide was lowly populated by wolves too; approximately in this surrounding of the forest there was one wolf per 300 square kilometers. So, if we take Naliboki Forest and its surrounding, the wolf population density in that large area was undoubtedly lower than 0.5 inds per 100 square kilometers.

In November, December and January in the conditions of absence of other wolf packs, these two packs of 6 and 5 inds ranged abnormally large. The six wolf pack having four adults and two pups regularly covered an area of about 760 square kilometers; while the other pack of five wolves having one pup only ranged in an area of 840 square kilometers. Before, when the density of wolves in Naliboki Forest and its surrounding was markedly higher (0.9-2.3 inds per 100 square kilometers), usually home range of a wolf pack was greatly smaller and constituted from 246 to 360, on average 306 square kilometers (n=7).

Since the late January new wolves came into Naliboki Forest, and in the mid-March there were registered more packs: 6 inds, 7 (instead of 2) inds, 6 (instead 5) inds, 3 (all new) inds, 4(instead lone ind); 3 (instead 2) inds. Additionally, there were registered three lone wolves.

In the below, you see several videos of wolves that were taken in Naliboki Forest during the last winter.

You can support the research on large carnivores in Naliboki Forest by buying just a coffee. It will help to keep the study going.

3 thoughts on “Results of study on wolves in Naliboki Forest in the winter of 2022-2023”

  1. Thanks for keeping us informed, Vadim/Ira.
    What a huge fluctuation within one season. Hopefully, the wolves will have a better year in terms of raising pups compared to past years.

  2. In comparison to my visits in previous years the number of Wolves does indeed seem low , great work and nice videos Vadim

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s