Brown bear attack on a wolf den in Naliboki Forest, central-western Belarus

Co-author Irina Rotenko

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.

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Using of cavity-shelters by Eurasian lynxes in Belarus as non-rocky forested region

Coauthor Irina Rotenko

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.

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Breeding wolf couples without pups

Coauthor Irina Rotenko

In May 2020 we traced four breeding groups of wolves in the model area (about 1000 square km) of Naliboki Forest, the central-western part of Belarus. There were mating registered in all these wolf groups in the period from the late January till the mid-March. According to the obtained information from the camera-traps and by reading of activity signs, it looked like all the adult females of wolves got into heat and mated.

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Nowadays in Naliboki Forest wolves den almost exclusively in burrows

Coauthor Irina Rotenko

In June of 2018 there was post “Trends in the denning behaviour of the wolf and lynx in connection with the changes in the vertebrate community in Naliboki Forest (north-western Belarus)”. During the previous two years (2017 and 2018) in Naliboki Forest, the central-western Belarus we noticed several changes in the denning behaviour of wolves under the conditions of the markedly increased population densities of red deer and bison and still quite high number of elks. Bison, elks and red deer, while finding wolf pups, tend to kill them by trampling. The higher number of these animals that are inimical for wolf denning, the more protective reactions of wolf breeders we expect.

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Is a burrow a suitable lair for mother lynx?

Coauthor Irina Rotenko

Recently in Naliboki Forest in the central-western part of Belarus we registered when heavily pregnant female lynx was inspecting the last year burrow-den of wolves plausibly as one of potential sites for her denning.

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Two wolf litters, two breeding females, founding male and two pup-sitters on a camera-trap in Naliboki Forest

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.

Continue reading “Two wolf litters, two breeding females, founding male and two pup-sitters on a camera-trap in Naliboki Forest”

Trends in the denning behaviour of the wolf and lynx in connection with the changes in the vertebrate community in Naliboki Forest (north-western Belarus)

By investigating the denning behaviour and ecology of wolves (Sidorovich and Rotenko, 2018) and lynxes in Naliboki Forest, we faced with several evident trends during the last years (2016-2019) that we connect with the changes in the local vertebrate community or  more specifically with the pronounced changes in the population densities of those species  that may affect the denning conditions for wolves and lynxes.
Continue reading “Trends in the denning behaviour of the wolf and lynx in connection with the changes in the vertebrate community in Naliboki Forest (north-western Belarus)”