Coauthor: Irina Rotenko
At 4PM on 19th of April 2020 in Naliboki Forest, the central-western Belarus we were walking in swamped black alder forest in the Vol’ka small river valley. The weather was quite cool and windy, but from time to time with sunshine. Then in one place we heard the lynx calling plausibly from a tree height. In total we heard about 40 callings with 2 seconds to 4 minutes interval. Moderate strength wind was blowing to our side from the direction of lynx calling place. It was luck and so we succeeded to approach the lynx 100-130 meters. The lynx was still calling from black alder tree on the height about 16 meters (see photo).
Continue reading “Documentation of Eurasian lynx sleeping on a tree height and the species calling from a height on tree”
As it was already published that in Naliboki Forest during summer, autumn and early winter 2019 more than a half of the local population of lynxes died from unknown disease. According to the intensive camera-trapping by about 70 cameras as well as by regular checking of lynx tracks, in Naliboki Forest in the model area of about one thousand square km 7 out of 13 adult males (S’tsiapan, Ksavery, Maxim, Bazyl’, Kazimir, Jan, one without name) and one adult female Jadz’viha disappeared. 7 out of 12 adult females (Jaryna, Vieranika, Pryhazhunja, Maximiliana, Malanka, Pielahieja and Bazylikha) were registered without any kittens in autumn. Two of them definitely lost them. Other afive dult females had 1 or 2 kittens only.
Continue reading “Peculiarity of mating in lynxes in February-March 2020 in Naliboki Forest after the disease when most of the adult males died”
Before, in 1950s-1970s the mountain hare was common species in Naliboki Forest. According to the local hunter’s words in those winters the species tracks covered snow cover densely and more or less evenly in each fragment of this forested terrain. In the late 1990s and beginning of 2000s it looked like the mountain hare local population density in Naliboki Forest was evidently in a decline; there were censused only 0.2-0.8 inds per one square km. In 2005-2010 the evident growth of the local population of mountain hare was registered, and more or less high number of the species continued till 2014 (2.9-6.1 inds per one square km). Then during the each next winter we faced with fewer and fewer number of mountain hares in Naliboki Forest.
Continue reading “Declines in mountain hares in Naliboki Forest, central west of Belarus: hypotheses and arguments”
Coauthor: Irina Rotenko
In Naliboki Forest, the central-western part of Belarus we (Naust Eco Station and Wild Naliboki) have documented by camera-traps that a mother lynx, having own kitten, has adopted another kitten, which mother has died. Actually, the story was as following.
Continue reading “Mother lynx, having own kitten, has adopted another kitten, which mother has died”
Below we consider the combined impact of lynxes and wolves on the populations of red foxes and raccoon dogs, because their predation effects on the populations of these victim species are hard to separate. First, we list the gained data on the killing rate of red foxes and raccoon dogs by lynxes and wolves from two main different methods i.e. telemetry and snowtracking.
Continue reading “Extermination of red foxes and raccoon dogs by lynxes and wolves in forested terrains, and the peculiarities of local populations of these medium-sized carnivores”
Historically, the badger was fairly common species in Naliboki Forest that is in the north-western part of Belarus. Besides the respective information that was obtained from the locals (e.g. Baliaslaw Sadowski, Lianard Jurevich, Edzik Khmara), who lived and was familiar with the forest in the 1930s-1960s, also presence of numerous former badger setts suggests about the commonness of badgers. Approximatelly, the density of main setts, where badger families lived before, was not lower than 15 per 100 km2 in the most ecologically rich southern part of Naliboki Forest and about 4 per 100 km2 in the central and central-northern parts of the terrain, where habitat carrying capacity for badgers is markedly lower. It means that the former density in more or less undisturbed badger population in Naliboki Forest ranged approximately between 20 and 120 individuals per 100 km2 in relation to the habitat carrying capacity of the terrain.
Continue reading “Recovering of the badger local population in Naliboki Forest, NW Belarus in connection with winter warming and predation of lynxes and wolves”
First, briefly about history of lynxes in Naliboki Forest during several last decades. In the early and mid-1990’s, after the Soviet Union crash, perhaps in conditions of relatively weak nature protection, the majority of lynxes were poached in Naliboki Forest. In the 1980’s there was a dense lynx population in the terrain, but by the late 1990’s lynxes occurred sporadically there. In the early 2000’s lynxes began recolonizing Naliboki Forest. The severe snow conditions in the late winter and early spring of 2013 seemed to impact lynxes negatively, and the local lynx population number dropped from 35 to 22 the next winter. Indeed, during the spring of 2013, as far as we learned, local forestry workers and antler searchers found at least three lynx carcasses. All of them seemed to be subadults or kittens, because they looked relatively small.
Continue reading “Rapid decline in the local population of lynx in Naliboki Forest, NW Belarus: density-dependent regulation or disease?”
Nowadays, the way of a researcher is overloaded with applying for projects and then producing numerous reports that can negatively affect the studies of wildlife. Such a situation is spread in the academic zone everywhere in the world. It wasn’t so hard for us a while ago, but during the last decade it started to be really too much, and that brought a feeling of wasting time in the academic zone. In effect, we quitted the zoological institute and university we worked for (in my case for 32 years), moved to our homestead in Naliboki Forest and continued the study on vertebrate predators (first of all, the wolf, lynx and badger) on our own. Continue reading “Wildlife trips on the way of our zoological study in Naliboki Forest”
While observing and censusing raptors in Naliboki Forest, it was an outstandingly high species diversity of diurnal raptors and owls. Here is a possible explanation of this phenomenon.
Continue reading “Outstandingly high species diversity of raptors (diurnal raptors and owls) in Naliboki Forest”
The behavior and ecology of the Eurasian lynx during the snowless season, particularly from the second half of April till the end of October (hereafter the warm season), is still searchless, and several important questions of study on the species in this seasonal period are seemingly even unknown. The main hassle is that the prevailing research method of GSM GPS telemetry fails to investigate those questions. Basically this method only records coordinates and how active or passive the individual is. It looks like currently the single possible way to learn about the behavior and ecology during the warm season goes through much routine habitat inspection, art skills to read activity signs of lynxes in snowless period and smart extensive camera-trapping.
Continue reading “Enigmatic warm-season behavior and ecology in Eurasian lynxes: pressing questions, hypotheses and results up-to-date”