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Twardorzeczka, Poland

Nowak S.,Association for Nature Wolf | Myslajek R.W.,University of Warsaw
Mammal Research | Year: 2016

Since the mid-twentieth century, under different management regimes (over 20 years of a wolf control program followed by 20 years of trophy hunting), wolves were absent or rare in Western Poland (hereinafter WPL). They became strictly protected in the whole country in 1998 and started to re-settle the vast forests of WPL, far (376 ± 106.5 km) from the source population in eastern Poland. In 2002–2012, the population increased from several to approximately 140 wolves living in 30 family groups, with an annual rate of increase of 38 % (λ = 1.38, SE = 0.10). The area of permanent occurrence increased from 600 to 10,900 km2, with an average density of 1.3 wolves/100 km2. The nearest neighbour distance between wolf territories decreased from 260 to 25 km. In 2001–2005, half of the settlement efforts by wolves failed after 1–2 years whereas in 2006–2009 only one fifth of newly settled wolves failed to persist >2 years. The number of wolves in groups varied from 2 to 9, and the mean group size increased from 1.8 in 2001 to 4.8 in 2012. The survival of pups from May to the end of November was 50 % (the mean number of pups per litter was 5.1 and 2.5, respectively). Of 28 wolves found dead, 65 % were killed by vehicles, 25 % were poached, and 7 % died because of diseases and natural factors. All road casualties were young wolves, most of them male (67 %), hit on roads on average 11.6 km from the centre of the nearest pack. The re-colonisation of WPL started from jump dispersal, which allowed wolves to establish packs in distant locations. As the recovery proceeded, the dispersal pattern shifted to being stratified, a mixture of diffusion and jump dispersal that resulted in the creation of packs in close vicinity to existing groups. After 12 years of re-colonisation, wolves in Western Poland occupied about 30 % of potential suitable habitats. © 2016, Mammal Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences, Białowieża, Poland. Source

Bashta A.-T.,Ukrainian Academy of Sciences | Piskorski M.,Maria Curie Sklodowska University | Myslajek R.W.,Association for Nature Wolf | Tereba A.,Polish Academy of Sciences | And 2 more authors.
Folia Zoologica | Year: 2011

Recently described Myotis alcathoe has been recorded in Ukraine for the first time and at eight new localities in three distant and geographically diverse areas of Poland (the mountains, the uplands and the lowlands). This data extends its distribution range in Central Europe and confirms it as a native breeding species in Poland. Specific identification of bats was confirmed by sequencing ND1 gene of mtDNA. In Poland its reproduction has been recorded in Łez•czok reserve, Silesian Foothill and in Roztocze National Park. Bats were observed mostly within old broadleaved and mixed forests, near water, at altitude ranging from 112 to 736 m a.s.l. The only known roosting site for the species is a cave which is used both in spring and during the swarming period. In Poland the species co-occurred with both M. brandtii and M. mystacinus or with M. brandtii at all sites. Source

Popa-Lisseanu A.G.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research | Sorgel K.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research | Luckner A.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research | Wassenaar L.I.,Environment Canada | And 12 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Despite a commitment by the European Union to protect its migratory bat populations, conservation efforts are hindered by a poor understanding of bat migratory strategies and connectivity between breeding and wintering grounds. Traditional methods like mark-recapture are ineffective to study broad-scale bat migratory patterns. Stable hydrogen isotopes (δD) have been proven useful in establishing spatial migratory connectivity of animal populations. Before applying this tool, the method was calibrated using bat samples of known origin. Here we established the potential of δD as a robust geographical tracer of breeding origins of European bats by measuring δD in hair of five sedentary bat species from 45 locations throughout Europe. The δD of bat hair strongly correlated with well-established spatial isotopic patterns in mean annual precipitation in Europe, and therefore was highly correlated with latitude. We calculated a linear mixed-effects model, with species as random effect, linking δD of bat hair to precipitation δD of the areas of hair growth. This model can be used to predict breeding origins of European migrating bats. We used δ 13C and δ 15N to discriminate among potential origins of bats, and found that these isotopes can be used as variables to further refine origin predictions. A triple-isotope approach could thereby pinpoint populations or subpopulations that have distinct origins. Our results further corroborated stable isotope analysis as a powerful method to delineate animal migrations in Europe. © 2012 Popa-Lisseanu et al. Source

Myslajek R.W.,Association for Nature Wolf | Nowak S.,Association for Nature Wolf | Rozen A.,Jagiellonian University | Jedrzejewska B.,Polish Academy of Sciences
Animal Biology | Year: 2012

We studied the socio-spatial ecology of the Eurasian badger (Meles meles) along the altitudinal gradient (250-1257 m a.s.l.) of the Western Carpathians (Southern Poland), 2004-2009. Family groups were small (mean 2.3 individuals) and home-ranges large (mean 5.42 km2, MCP 100%), which gave a low population density (2.2 individuals/10 km2). Badgers foraged mainly in the foothills, irrespective of the altitude at which their sett was located. They mostly searched for food in meadows, pastures and arable fields (34.4% of telemetry locations), or among shrubs (33.9%). Badgers were killed by hunters (0.37 individuals/10 km2 annually), and by wolves (0.07 individuals/10 km2). The badger population density was influenced mostly by the abundance of earthworms and hunting pressure, while the size and shape of their territories was determined by the distribution of foraging grounds. © 2012 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden. Source

Myslajek R.W.,Association for Nature Wolf | Nowak S.,Association for Nature Wolf | Jedrzejewska B.,Polish Academy of Sciences
Folia Zoologica | Year: 2012

We studied the location of Eurasian badger (Meles meles) setts in relation to various environmental factors, and attempted to assess the role of competition with other burrowing carnivores and the importance of human activity on their sett selection in the Western Carpathians (southern Poland). Excavated dens (53 %), caves and rock crevices (43 %), and burrows under buildings (4 %), were used by badgers as permanent shelters. Setts were located mostly in foothills (< 680 m a.s.l.), but selection for den location within the lower montane zone (680- 980 m a.s.l.) was also observed. Excavated setts were recorded only up to 640 m a.s.l., while setts in rock crevices occurred up to 1050 m a.s.l. Badger shelters were mainly situated in forests or covered by dense bushes. Badgers avoided northern slopes in all altitudinal zones, and located their burrows mostly on SE or W slopes in foothills, and S or E slopes in montane zones. Setts were placed further from human settlements and main roads, but closer to meadows with high earthworm biomass, when compared with random points. Within badger territories, 1-12 setts were recorded. Badgers occupying territories which included both foothills and montane zones used burrows at various altitudes, but their main setts used for overwintering, were located exclusively above 800 m a.s.l. We conclude that sett location by badgers in mountains is shaped not only by the availability of cover and geological factors influencing digging, but also by human pressure and distance to foraging areas. Source

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