During the winter of 2017-2018 in Naliboki Forest we (Naust ecostation and Wild Naliboki) have found that Eurasian lynxes climbed rather high pine trees to emit mating calls during the species mating season (Sidorovich et al., 2018). In total, during February and March 2018, we registered four such trees of the Scotch pine, on which adult male lynxes climbed for about 17-26 meters high. The density of the local lynx population was about 4-5 inds per 100 km2 i.e. about 80 per almost 2000 km2. We have evaluated that phenomenon of calling by lynxes from a tall tree top as a mating call, also taking into account that it was registered in the lynx mating season in Belarus (mid-February-early April).
Quite often clearcuts in Naliboki Forest are full of logging remains. Moreover, sometimes loggers forget one or several piles of logs and they stay there for decades. It is always like a gift for lynxes, particularly the species families. The main benefit of lynx family is that mother may leave small kittens there, and they will be safe alone in the emptiness under the logs, when the mother goes for hunting. It is especially essential, because lynxes frequently use a long-lasting hunting from ambuscades, so, kittens need to wait for the mother quite long.
This post gives the documentation by a camera-trap of two different litters (10 pups altogether), two breeding females of the same wolf pack, the founding male and two pup-sitters in Naliboki Forest. The last feature is particularly essential. One or two pup-sitters were present at pups on about 60% of the hundreds of photos taken. It looks like we have registered the features of another trend in the wolf denning behavior that we haven’t faced with before the lynx got common. That is when breeding wolves use pup-sitters to save their pups from the lynx aggression (see another post for other details), when they go for hunting.
Mating in Eurasian lynxes and other questions in relation to that (such as pre-mating activity; life of kits, when their mothers go for mating; others) are quite poor investigated (e.g. Schmidt et al., 1997; Schmidt, 1999; Jędrzejewski et al., 2002; Breitenmoser-Würsten et al., 2007; Samelius et al., 2012). The scarce information published on the question shows that these complicated mating-related actions in Eurasian lynxes are too simplified, while researchers mention about mating in lynxes. Let’s say there is evident gaps in the lynx-related literature on the species mating.
Lynxes are known as mainly solitary carnivores. Social contacts between adults are believed to be strictly limited to a mating season and within mother-kits family group. Continue reading “Social behaviour in lynxes in non-mating season”
The common belief of the lynx-related zoologists is that parturition in lynxes takes place in a thicket somewhere under treefall. Sometimes, it really happens. However, during twenty years of searching for wolf dens in Paazierre Forest and Naliboki Forest in Belarus in April-June in 1997-2017 I have found more than one thousand of wolf dens (mostly without pups, former ones etc) under treefalls and other vegetation thickets (mainly young spruce ones), but only a few lynx denning sites (easily recognisable by presence of lynx hair) have been found under treefalls.
Continue reading “Where do births and raising early days kittens in lynxes take place? When do lynxes give birth in Belarus?”
In Europe and wider in Eurasia between wolf researchers and in the circle of other wolf-related people (e.g. hunters specialising in killing wolves, wolf pup searches) there is a widely spread belief on wolf reproduction that wolves are strictly monogamous species with a certain way of breeding and family pattern of pack formation. Actually, in my study in Belarus since the late 1990s there have been found so many abnormalities in those, that I start to think about what actually prevails in the wolf reproduction and packing: the “rules” or “exceptions”. Such “abnormalities” occurring too often are a very interesting phenomenon and they need to be further investigated. Continue reading “Wolf breeding peculiarities”