Recovering of the badger local population in Naliboki Forest, NW Belarus in connection with winter warming and predation of lynxes and wolves

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”

Interference between the badger and raccoon dog in Belarus

A year ago, while publishing the book about badgers and raccoon dogs in Belarus (“Badger and Raccoon dog in Belarus: Population studies with implication for the decline in badgers“, Minsk, 2017), it looked like we knew all possible ways of interference between raccoon dogs and badgers. We registered blocking badgers sleeping in the sett’s hibernating chamber by raccoon dogs with suffocating of the badgers afterwards; killing of badger cubs by raccoon dogs; non-effective attacks of badger on raccoon dog at its sett as well as a lot of marking of badger setts by both species in order to prevent usage of the sett by the burrow-competitor species.  Any attack of an active badger by raccoon dogs was not registered, and that was considered as something non-real.

Continue reading “Interference between the badger and raccoon dog in Belarus”

What is the cause of the badger population decline in Belarus? 

Within the analysis of vertebrate predator-prey community we carried out the population studies on the badger Meles meles  and raccoon dog Nyctereutes procyonoides with implication for the strong decline in badgers even in seminatural terrains in Belarus. Continue reading “What is the cause of the badger population decline in Belarus? “

Reading mammal activity signs

Since my childhood I have been very interested in tracks of mammals and  in the entire variety of activity signs of mammals and birds on the whole.  Within this my passion I tried to push forward not only identifying of mammal activity signs, but their usage in track-based research methods on population ecology as well as to reconstruct correctly the respective behavior of mammals from their activity signs.  Continue reading “Reading mammal activity signs”

Analysis of predation in vertebrate community

In the period of 1993-2010 I led the Vertebrate Predation Research Group in the same research Institute of zoology, National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. The group consisted of 3-12 colleagues (including PhD-students and Diploma-students) and was aimed to investigate vertebrate predators,  mainly carnivores, but also owls, diurnal raptors and snakes. The studies took place in Paazierre Forest (the northern part of Belarus) and Naliboki Forest (the central-western part of Belarus), i.e. semi-natural terrains with transitional mixed forest within the European Forest zone. Continue reading “Analysis of predation in vertebrate community”