A week in the forest

  Photo: Valeri Štšerbatõhhttp://foto.dvaa.ee/
Overview by Marko Kübarsepp and Peep Männil
Translation: SilverT

Läänemaa, December 2010
Wolf; grey wolf     Hunt or susi     Canis lupus
 We try to give a weekly overview of what is going on in the wolf forest.
The activities of forest creatures are being affected by weather conditions. The thaw of the turn of the year and cold of the previous weekends have formed a hard crust on the old snow, which could even carry a man. We take a look on the animal trails and see what the traces tell us, because there have been two or three centimetres of fresh snow also this week.
Winter`s back has been broken and day by day, the sun is showing a bit more of itself. In the second part of January, which means now, our wild canines – both foxes and wolves are preparing for the annual event which people refer to as the „wedding“. For example, wolves are moving much more than usual during that time. They also think about feeding less than usual. In many cases, young wolves who have been born in recent years leave the homes of their parents just now with the wish to find a mate and a territory and establish a pack of their own. So it has been for thousands of years.
On September 12th last year, Marko Kübarsepp managed to catch and put a collar on a wolf who was named „Hall“ („Grey“), because of the main hue of its coat. Hall is a young male wolf and is a member of a wolf pack that is living in the south-western part of Viljandimaa, near Halliste. Hall`s collar has a tracking device which transmits daily his location points to Marko`s computer. During last autumn, the Halliste pack consisted of eight members, including another animal that is familiar to Marko – „Habe“ („Beard“), a male wolf who is a year or two older than Hall. He was equipped with a similar tracking device actually already three months earlier than Hall.
Whether „Beard“ is the father, older brother or a more distant relative of „Grey“ is so far unknown. Hereafter, Marko tries to give a short overview of the activities of Hall and Habe every week.
Marko Kübarsepp is working at the department of wildlife monitoring in the Estonian Environment Information Centre; the monitoring and research of our wolves is being supported by the Environmental Investment Centre.




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