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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Since the last May we began using video mode in our camera-traps more often in order to create a scientific film about reproduction in wolves in few years. The video sequence you see below is a kind of a report on the video results we gained across breeding of wolves in Naliboki Forest in 2020. In this video you see some interesting moments demonstrating various behaviour of wolf pups and parents during this secretive period.