The causes of long-term decline in the polecat population in Belarus

Population decline of carnivore species may happen suddenly, develop rather fast and proceed short-term. For instance, such demise character was known for the European mink in Belarus and Russia (Macdonald et al., 2002; Sidorovich, 2011). Population decline of other carnivore species may pass gradually and less evident, and a considerable decrease in population density may take many more years.

The situation that is characterized by gradual and long-term decline is fairly hard to notice, while manipulating short-term data only. It takes much time to establish a right hypothesis on the decline and to prove the hypothesis. Usually, in such a case, when a population decline appeared to be evident, it is already too late to get a complete dataset to analyze the declining process and to reveal the factors that impacted the population. The polecat Mustela putorius population decline in Belarus was characterized by the mentioned features of gradual and long-term decline (see Sidorovich, 2011).  Our results of the study on the polecat demise suggest the following negative factors that are responsible for the population decline.

Continue reading “The causes of long-term decline in the polecat population in Belarus”

Impact of American minks on water vole and root vole populations and populations of the aboriginal predators – eaters of these beneficial prey, in particular, the stoat and great grey owl

In one of our study area on the question, which is the Lovat terrain in Paazierre Forestin northern Belarus,  both riparian vole species (the water vole Arvicola terrestris and root vole Microtus oeconomus) have become scarce since the American mink Neovison vison  has established a dense population. Continue reading “Impact of American minks on water vole and root vole populations and populations of the aboriginal predators – eaters of these beneficial prey, in particular, the stoat and great grey owl”