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Selection of den, rendezvous, and resting sites by wolves in the Bialowieza Forest, Poland

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Abstract:



We studied wolf (Canis lupus) selection of 19 den, 10 rendezvous, and 31 resting sites found between 1986 and 2000 in the Bialowieza Forest (Poland). Our objective was to determine whether wolves selected sites far from villages, forest edges, and roads, and whether these sites had dense ground cover for concealment. We also tested whether wolves selected a particular forest type for their den sites. Den and rendezvous sites were located at greater distances from villages, forest edges, and intensively used roads than random points. Locations of resting sites were not affected by these manmade structures. Wolves selected dry coniferous forests for den sites but also used other forest types. We concluded that the suitability of an area for pup raising depended mainly on the spatial distribution of forest, human settlements, and public roads, and to a lesser extent on habitat characteristics.

Nous avons étudié la sélection par des loups (Canis lupus) de 19 antres, 10 lieux de rendez-vous et 31 points de repos trouvés entre 1986 et 2000 dans la forêt de Bialowieza (Pologne). Notre but était de déterminer si les loups sélectionnent des sites éloignés des villages, de l'orée de la forêt et des routes ou des sites où la végétation au sol est dense et leur permet de se dissimuler. Nous avons aussi vérifié si, pour établir leurs antres, les loups sélectionnent un type particulier de forêt. Les antres et les lieux de rendez-vous se situent plus loin des villages, de l'orée de la forêt et des routes à forte circulation que des points aléatoires. L'emplacement des points de repos n'est pas affecté par les structures d'origine humaine. Les loups établissent leurs antres dans les forêts de conifères sèches, mais ils utilisent aussi d'autres types de forêt. Nous avons conclu que les facteurs qui affectent la sélection de l'environnement chez les loups durant l'élevage des jeunes sont principalement la répartition des forêts, celle des habitations et celle des routes publiques, alors que l'habitat joue un rôle secondaire.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-01-01

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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