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”

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.”

Question of interspecific interactions of brown bears and wolves

In the scientific literature about brown bears Ursus arctos and wolves Canis lupus  there is information on the interactions of the species. Nevertheless, facing that denning in wolves is so insufficiently investigated (Sidorovich and Rotenko, 2017, 2019), it is easily believed that possible interference of brown bears towards wolves at denning is unknown still.

Continue reading “Question of interspecific interactions of brown bears and wolves”

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”

Peculiarity of usage of openings by lynxes

This post adverts the recent shift in the habitat-related lynx distribution for usage of openings and the lynx reaction to get back to forest in connection with the considerable changes in the wolf number in Naliboki Forest.
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Wolf erasing off marking points of lynxes

In Naliboki Forest adult lynxes particularly males are known as killers of the vulnerable categories of wolves such as pups, lonely living subadults and heavily pregnant females (Sidorovich et al., 2019). Also, lynxes may be a valuable competitor for wolves in their exploiting of the roe deer and beaver populations.  Study on the interference of wolves and lynxes in Naliboki Forest suggested that wolves disagree with  presence of lynxes in the habitats, and they behave aggressively towards lynxes, too.  Lynxes feel safe in forest habitats, whereas they mainly avoid openings, when wolves are common in the habitats and where they may be killed by a wolf pack, because there are no trees to escape. Continue reading “Wolf erasing off marking points of lynxes”

The role and origin of open ground spots for large carnivores, wild ungulates and other wildlife

In snowless period spots with open sand, peat or other ground types are outstanding elements in the habitat structure in  forested areas such as Belarus, and many mammal species tend to use them for territorial marking.  Among these mammal species first of all it may be mentioned red deer, bison, wolf and lynx.

Continue reading “The role and origin of open ground spots for large carnivores, wild ungulates and other wildlife”

Great interest in marking by lynxes from other mammals

This post addresses the  intriguing question of a great interest of wolves, red foxes and deer to lynx marking points, but there is no an opposite reaction of lynxes to marking by the above species. It is easy to realize, why red deer, roe deer and red foxes pay so much attention –  lynxes kill them often. Therefore, any information about lynx distribution and status (adult or young, sex, welfare etc.) are important for these victim species. The same is for wolves. Adult lynxes not rarely kill wolves  from vulnerable categories such as pups, heavily pregnant females, just small individuals (Sidorovich et al., 2018). However why do lynxes pay a minimal attention to marking by deer and even by wolves?

Continue reading “Great interest in marking by lynxes from other mammals”

Dramatic situation in the beaver population in Naliboki Forest in relation to hotter and drier summers nowadays

Till the 1960s  Naliboki Forest, which is situated in the north-western Belarus, was a greatly swamped terrain, where on the area about two thousands km2 swamps of various types and sizes were interspersed with dry land forests the terrain-wide. Open grassy marshes constituted about 19%  of the terrain. Approximately a third part of the forest habitats that covered about 76% of the area were swamped too (Sidorovich, 2016). Such a swamped forest was either in kinds of black alder and downy birch mixture (with prevalence of one of the species) or that was raised bogs with suppressed or normal pines. Continue reading “Dramatic situation in the beaver population in Naliboki Forest in relation to hotter and drier summers nowadays”

Survival of the ten pups in that large wolf family in Naliboki Forest: an intermediate report

In one of the previous posts I reported about presence of the large family of wolves in Naliboki Forest that in the last July (i.e. July of 2018) consisted of founding male, two breeding females, two litters with ten pups altogether and two pup-sitters, which were almost all the time with the pups. Presence of these pup-sitters was connected with the extra care of parents to save pups from lynx attacks. The last years in Naliboki Forest in  the conditions of the high number of lynxes (3-5 inds per 100 km2) wolf pup survival was very low; e.g. only about 4% of the wolf pups that were born in the spring of 2017 survived till the winter of 2017-2018. The occasions that wolf pups were killed by lynxes were numerically registered in Naliboki Forest earlier. Continue reading “Survival of the ten pups in that large wolf family in Naliboki Forest: an intermediate report”