Documentation of prolonged mating season in Eurasian lynxes

Coauthor Irina Rotenko

We continue the post about mating in Eurasian lynxes with some detalization in relation to the seasonal period of mating in Naliboki Forest, central-western part of Belarus. Here we would like to present some our photo-documentation that suggests the prolonged mating season in this lynx species in Naliboki Forest.

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Documentation of Eurasian lynx sleeping on a tree height and the species calling from a height on tree

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).

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Peculiarity of mating in lynxes in February-March 2020 in Naliboki Forest after the disease when most of the adult males died

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”

Mother lynx, having own kitten, has adopted another kitten, which mother has died

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.

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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

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”

Rapid decline in the local population of lynx in Naliboki Forest, NW Belarus: density-dependent regulation or disease?

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?”

Wildlife trips on the way of our zoological study in Naliboki Forest

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 … Continue reading “Wildlife trips on the way of our zoological study in Naliboki Forest”

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”

Enigmatic warm-season behavior and ecology in Eurasian lynxes: pressing questions, hypotheses and results up-to-date

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.

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The variety of life styles of Eurasian lynxes in Belarus: a combination of the gained results and hypotheses

In Eurasian lynxes there are several age-sex categories, which are strikingly or markedly differed by their life styles.  The data that leads us (Naust Eco Station & Wild Naliboki) to this conclusion originated from about 2300 km of snowtracking lynxes, multiannual study of lynxes with camera-traps (up to 70) and much other various research results. Among them the results of two lynx telemetry projects.

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Climbing trees by Eurasian lynxes to emit territorial and mating calls in Belarus: pressing questions, knowledge up-to-date and difficulties to investigate this phenomenon

During the winter of 2017-2018 in Naliboki Forest we (Naust Eco Station 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).

Continue reading “Climbing trees by Eurasian lynxes to emit territorial and mating calls in Belarus: pressing questions, knowledge up-to-date and difficulties to investigate this phenomenon”