A year ago, while publishing the book about badgers and raccoon dogs in Belarus (“Badger and Raccoon dog in Belarus: Population studies with implication for the decline in badgers“, Minsk, 2017), it looked like we knew all possible ways of interference between raccoon dogs and badgers. We registered blocking badgers sleeping in the sett’s hibernating chamber by raccoon dogs with suffocating of the badgers afterwards; killing of badger cubs by raccoon dogs; non-effective attacks of badger on raccoon dog at its sett as well as a lot of marking of badger setts by both species in order to prevent usage of the sett by the burrow-competitor species. Any attack of an active badger by raccoon dogs was not registered, and that was considered as something non-real.
Since my childhood I have been very interested in tracks of mammals and in the entire variety of activity signs of mammals and birds on the whole. Within this my passion I tried to push forward not only identifying of mammal activity signs, but their usage in track-based research methods on population ecology as well as to reconstruct correctly the respective behavior of mammals from their activity signs. Continue reading “Reading mammal activity signs”