Change in the way of our study on the wolf breeding in Naliboki Forest, central-western Belarus

Coauthor Irina Rotenko

By this short post we would like to share some ideas in relation to the necessary changes in the way of our study on the wolf breeding in Naliboki Forest with the researchers and amateurs, who deal with that. With respect to the mentioned changes, three questions may be raised: (1) why do we need to change something in the study approach on the wolf breeding; (2) what the changes will be; and (3) which benefit we expect from the changes?

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Breeding story of one model wolf pack leading by Torn Ear dominant female in Naliboki Forest: exceptional or routine?

Coauthor Irina Rotenko

Concerning the wolf Canis lupus  breeding in Europe and wider in Eurasia there is a widely spread belief that the species is strictly monogamous with a certain way of  breeding and pack formation in family pattern (e.g. Bibikov D.I., 1985 and references therein; Jędrzejewska & Jędrzejewski, 1998).  

Those beliefs suggested the three following theses: first,  during breeding season, a wolf pack has merely one litter or there are no pups; second, usually a wolf pack consists of parent wolves and their pups of the current and previous biological years as a normal maximum; additionally, such a pack may subordinate some non-relative wolves; and third, usually offspring disperse from their maternal pack around mating season, in the second year of their life, when they are 20-22 months old.

Continue reading “Breeding story of one model wolf pack leading by Torn Ear dominant female in Naliboki Forest: exceptional or routine?”

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.

Continue reading “Mother lynx, having own kitten, has adopted another kitten, which mother has died”

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 book on the wolf reproduction biology. Second edition.

Together with Irina Rotenko we recently published the second edition of the book on the wolf Canis lupus reproduction biology, which was based on the data gained in Belarus. There, we address the questions of the species mating, denning and raising of pups as well as mortality in wolf pups, which are still insufficiently investigated and full of contradicting hypotheses and knowledge. Therefore, the subtitle is “common beliefs versus reality”. However, the main thing for us in doing this book is to share the knowledge and skills we have gained on wolves in Belarus with wolf colleagues and amateurs.

In the second edition of the book we advanced all the former chapters basing on the results of the intensive study of wolf reproduction during spring-summer of 2018 and 2019 in Naliboki Forest. Also, we added one more chapter about the revealed trends in the denning behaviour of wolves in connection with the changes in the vertebrate community in Naliboki Forest.

Continue reading “The book on the wolf reproduction biology. Second edition.”

The next step in the change of wolf denning habitats in connection with further increase in red deer and bison numbers in Naliboki Forest

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)”,  in which I described the changes in the denning behaviour of wolves and lynxes in connection with the population growth of the lynx, red deer, bison, and recovering of the badger population in the 2010s.  It was shown that wolves with their prevailing of an open denning appeared in the hard situation to reproduce despite of the extra breeding efforts, first of all, with a pack multi-breeding.

Continue reading “The next step in the change of wolf denning habitats in connection with further increase in red deer and bison numbers in Naliboki Forest”

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”