VIDEO: A week in the forest – of sign language

Written by and track camera recordings by Marko Kübarsepp
Translation: SilverT
Large predators are generally considered to be extremely territorial animals. In human language, territoriality refers to a behavioural adaptation when one protects its specific habitat from strange intruders. The boundaries and the interior of the territory are constantly being refreshed with scent marks. These, in turn, send a message to other members of the species about the occupancy of the area. Wolves, for example, leave their urine marks averagely after every 300...400 meters, to a well-spotted place like a tree stump, rock, log etc. It has been proven that one pack of wolves uses about 10-20% of its territory within 24 hours. This means that the marks are being refreshed at about every two weeks. Generally, such „marking stations“ are in wider use and they are not only used by members of one species.
In the short video we can see how wolves perform this action: dominant wolves. or the leaders of the pack, also scrape the ground in addition to leaving urine marks. That way, the marked place is visually more conspicuous and also transmits various information besides the odor which is coming from the scent glands of the toes. The wolf who is scraping the ground in the video is a dominant female. In addition to the wolves, also the pine marten, raccoon dog, fox and lynx have left their „mark“ at the same spruce. The latter one prefers a broken aspen to the „modest“ spruce, but we will talk about that later.
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