Tropy wilka

Winter monitoring of wolf families - summary

Winter monitoring of wolf families - summary

Winter monitoring of wolf families from the southern part of the Świętokrzyskie region.

During last winter, from the beginning of November 2023 to the end of March 2024, we continued monitoring 6 wolf families in the southern part of the Świętokrzyskie region. We recorded numerous traces of wolf presence in the form of: feces, tracks, lairs, urine marking and scratching the ground, and remains of wolf prey. We also recorded howling and managed to record wolves many times with the help of photo traps installed in the field. The largest group recorded was 7 individuals. We were able to confirm the presence of wolves in each of the 6 monitored families.

Despite short periods with lingering snow cover, we were able to conduct predator tracking in the snow several times. We tracked from 1 to 7 individuals, and the maximum distance of continuous tracking was about 6 km. At the end of January, we also encountered fresh traces of calving. In March, the number of recorded wolf tracks was noticeably smaller than in the earlier winter months, and we confirmed the presence of wolves mainly on the basis of droppings and tracks, as well as photo trap recordings (we recorded 1 to 3 individuals).

✅ In the JĘDRZEJÓW forest district, we confirmed the presence of at least 2 wolves, probably a breeding pair, on the basis of tracks in the snow, found lairs, traces of intensive urine marking and fresh signs of fecundation.

✅ Near Szydłów in the CHMIELNIK Forest District, one forester saw one wolf crossing a forest road. Despite conducting tracking during the lingering snow cover, we were unable to come across any signs of wolves.

✅ In the forests of the STASZÓW forest district, forestry staff recorded the presence of 1-3 individuals (tracks and visual observations).

✅ In the vicinity of RAKÓW in ŁAGÓW forest district, we recorded at least 2 different wolves with the help of photo traps.

✅ In the forests near ŁAGÓW, we found the presence of 6 individuals on the basis of tracks in the snow.

✅ In the Daleszyce forests (the area of the DALESZYCE and ŁAGÓW forest districts), we confirmed the presence of 7 individuals (including a possibly breeding pair). Wolves in this complex were intensively marking the area. We also recorded signs of calving and heard wolves howling. The presence of wolves was also registered by photo traps set up in the area.

Author: Tomasz Bracik, Mariusz Wlazło, Łukasz Tomasik



Badania wilczej diety

Another round of field research on wolf diet

Another round of field research on wolf diet

And the sixth round is behind us!

Since December 2023, we have been conducting another series of surveys related to the analysis of wolf diet composition and prey abundance in the areas we monitor.

This time, in addition to our regular veteran volunteer Aśka, we were visited as volunteers by guests from abroad – Jonas from Belgium and Adam from the UK. The guys were very brave and did a great job in sometimes really tough terrain!

The first 2 days together we took down the photo traps hung during the previous round in March, in the Siekierno forests near Skarżysko-Kamienna. The trail cameras recorded forest life, but what interested us most were recordings of wild ungulates – roe deer, wild boar and red deer, which our Świętokrzyskie wolves are most likely to feed on. With the recordings and the distance sampling method, we hope to estimate the population sizes of these species and, combined with data from wolf poop analysis, assess exactly what local wolves’ culinary preferences are.

After the collection stage, we moved to another forest complex located near Kielce. For four days we hung up the previously collected photo traps and at the same time explored the beauty of the area. Many thanks to the Complex of Świętokrzyskie and Nadnidziański Landscape Parks and especially to Ms. Beata for their extremely kind cooperation and assistance in our research!

During the tour, which lasted 1.5 weeks, we took a day off to show our volunteers the most interesting corners of the Świętokrzyska Forest and to train them in wolf telemetry. On the last day, we also took them to a very interesting exhibition at Geonature Kielce – Geoeducation Center. We were extremely lucky, because we just happened to hit the beginning of the rock grinding workshops taking place there! Each of us got a piece of local stone and had the opportunity to polish it with our own hands, and then take it with us as a souvenir. A very interesting experience, we recommend and encourage you to visit Geonatura!

And the next round of research is just ahead.



Wilk Wiciu - komiks

Comic NiezłyWilk - the wolf Wiciu presents!

Comic NiezłyWilk - the wolf Wiciu presents!

The launch of the educational project NiezłyWilk (NotBadWolf). A comic book story about growing up and the life of the wolf Wiciu!

Meet the wolf Wiciu! 😃🐺

Wiciu is a wolf pup who is slowly growing up and learning what it’s like to be a wolf. Together with him, we too will wander wolf paths and see the world from a wolf’s perspective for the next year, and maybe longer. Follow along with us Wiciu’s adventures presented in the form of amusing comic strips by Wiktor Tabak – we promise it will be fun!

➡ Wicked Wolf 💛

Wiciu is the main character of the joint project NieZłyWilk “Not Bad Wolf” of three wildlife organizations: SAVE Wildlife Conservation Fund, Jelenie w terenie (Deer in the Field) and Praca Przyrodnika (Naturalist’s Work). The idea for the project was born from one simple thought: is the wolf bad? Browsing the sensation-chasing media, one may sometimes think so. However, the answer is different: the wolf is not bad, nor is it good, it’s just… itself, an element of nature, and tries to survive each day just like us.

🐾 The aim of the campaign is first and foremost to show wolves as they really are. We want to reverse the bad trend of presenting untrue, harmful information about these predators, which has increased in recent times. The bad image of wolves is most often due to ignorance about them.

🐾 As naturalists fascinated by wolves, their familial bonds, incredible senses and instincts, we don’t want to keep this fascination only to ourselves. We want to share it, our knowledge, our insights. Through the project “Not a Bad Wolf” we will try to present in a light, accessible way information about the biology and ecology of wolves, about their life and the problems they experience due to their close proximity to humans. With the help of amusing illustrations we will try to encourage you to look at the world through wolf eyes. We will dispel myths about these fascinating animals, and instead present facts that are the result of years of careful observation and scientific research.

🐾 Explore the world together with Wiciu! We encourage you to follow the fate of our wolf pup, who will become a more serious wolf over time, and share it with others! 🌲🌳


🖌 Author of the comic: Wiktor Tabak – www.wiktortabak.pl



Szkody wilcze na Podkarpaciu

Wolf damage in Subcarpathia in 2023

Wolf damage in Subcarpathia in 2023

A summary of damage caused by wolves and incidents involving them in the Subcarpathian region in 2023.

In 2023, wolves caused 175 damages to livestock and domestic animals and destroyed other property.

This is a 13.6% increase over 2022, when there were 154 attacks, and a 17% increase over 2021 (149 attacks).

Among domestic and livestock species, sheep (85) were the most frequently attacked by wolves, followed by cattle (32), horses (12), dogs (19), goats (15) and fallow deer and farm deer (9). In addition, property in the form of fences was damaged during these attacks.

The estimated damage to dogs included only purebred dogs (with pedigrees or tags, from legal breeding facilities). In the case of non-breed dogs, owners were only reimbursed for the cost of medical treatment or disposal of carcasses.

In addition to damage to livestock, various other incidents involving wolves were reported by residents, which included, for example, the appearance of predators near human homes. In 2023, the Regional Director for Environmental Protection in Rzeszów reported fewer incidents than in the previous year. This is probably due to the fact that currently the municipalities where incidents were more frequent maintain a register of conflict incidents involving large predators (coordinated by the Bieszczadziki Foundation with substantive support from the Agricultural University in Kraków and the RDOŚ in Rzeszów). Safety in the municipality is the responsibility of the mayor/president, who, based on the registers, identify problems and take appropriate action.

Author: Hubert Fedyń (RDOŚ Rzeszów)



Watahy południowe

Wolf families in the southern part of the Świętokrzyskie region

Wolf families in the southern part of the Świętokrzyskie region

In the summer and autumn of 2023, we searched for signs of the presence of wolf families in the southern part of the Świętokrzyskie region. From July to October, we conducted howling stimulation, recorded the presence of wolves using photo traps, and searched for tracks and droppings. Our main goal was to detect wolf reproduction in individual forest complexes.

Wolf pups are born in burrows or in lairs under uproots, overhanging conifer branches or in dense youngsters. After leaving the burrow/lair, the sub-adult pups remain in a place called the rendez-vous (“meeting place”). They are then usually under the care of at least one adult (hubby) at all times, while other adult wolves bring them food.

Rendez-vous may be changed every few days or so, but are sometimes used for a number of weeks. Sometimes these are open clearings, but most often well-hidden and inaccessible parts of the forest, such as tree heaps, youngsters or islands in swamps. In such places one can find lairs, numerous droppings, remains of prey and so-called “wolf toys” in the form of bitten bones, plastic bottles or cans. From the rendez-vous, wolf pups and their keepers often respond with howls to vocal stimulation.

We were able to ascertain the presence of the following family groups (packs):

🟠 The Jędrzejów pack:

Using photo traps, we found the presence of at least 2-3 adult individuals in this complex. Despite repeated stimulation of howling, we were unable to register the presence of pups. However, we found a meeting place, probably from last year, with accumulated wolf toys – bitten plastic bottles and a motor oil container. This testifies to the presence of pups in 2022.

🔴 The Szydłów pack (Chmielnik Forest District):

Five pups and one adult responded to our howling. Wolves also reproduced in the same place in 2022, and then there were also 5 pups (note from September 20, 2022 “April pups from Chmielnik Forest District“). Noteworthy is the fact that the wolf family is reproducing in a forest complex with a very small area of only about 6 km2.

🟣 The Staszów pack:

We found the presence of 3-4 pups and one adult that responded to our howling.

🔵 The Raków pack:

3-4 pups and 2 adults responded to our howling.

🟡 The Łagów pack:

Also in this complex, we found 4-5 pups and 2 adults based on the stimulation of howling.

🟢 The Daleszyce pack:

In summer and autumn, we observed the presence of at least 5 adults on the photo trap recordings. Neither on the recordings nor during the stimulation of howling we were unable to confirm the presence of pups. At the end of April, however, we recorded a pregnant female, which probably gave birth to pups in the immediate area.
Wolves have been breeding in the area for at least several years. In 2021, we recorded the presence of 6 pups (note dated December 20, 2021 “Wolf family from Daleszycki Forest“), and in 2022 – 8 pups (video dated November 15, 2022 “Growing up wolf pups in the Daleszycki Forest“).

The relatively high number of wolf families in the monitored area indicates the presence of quiet and hard-to-reach (to humans) breeding sites where predators can breed. Also important for wolves is the high density of ungulates in the area.

Authors: Tomasz Bracik, Mariusz Wlazło, Paweł Gola



Wilcze rendez-vous

WOLF RENDEZ-VOUS 2023

WOLF RENDEZ-VOUS 2023!

The weekend of September 23-24 saw a two-day meeting of people involved in wolf monitoring and conservation. In addition to members of our foundation came wolf specialists from Wielkopolska, Mazovia, Bieszczady, Sudetes, representatives of the associations “Z Szarym za Płotem” (“With the Gray Behind the Fence”) and “Ostoja” and the Świętokrzyskie National Park.

The first part of the meeting took place in the hall of the Miejskie Centrum Kultury (Municipal Cultural Center) in Skarżysko-Kamienna, where participants were able to get to know each other and give presentations they had prepared. For 4 hours we had the opportunity to learn a lot of interesting things about the observation of wolves in various regions of Poland and learn about the methods of carrying out protective, educational activities and counteracting anti-wolf propaganda.

Expedition to the Forest

In the evening, the participants of the meeting went to the nearby Świętokrzyska Forest to stimulate howling, and then to an integration campfire, during which discussions heated up on a variety of topics, from ideas on effective protection of wolf breeding sites and their habitats, through the exchange of monitoring experience to technical aspects of the equipment used.

The next day, the participants went on a several-hour walk through the most interesting corners of the Forest. Through the Dalejów Nature Reserve and areas with the most primeval character, the tour headed towards the place where wolf pups were born a year ago. Under the canopy of old trees, the guide – Roman Gula – talked about the history of the area, its natural values and the wolves that our foundation has been observing and studying here for more than a dozen years.

Goal – integration and cooperation

The meeting was held in a very positive and warm atmosphere. Its purpose was to integrate researchers and lovers of wolves, to exchange information and experience, and above all to get to know each other better and make new valuable friends. In our opinion, only through cooperation will it be possible to effectively protect nature and bring about lasting, better changes in its management. We hope that meetings under the banner of wolf rendez-vous will become a permanent and annual part of the lives of those involved in wolf monitoring and research, and will enable us to work together on a larger scale, with better and more lasting results.

Thanks to all the participants for coming and for the super interesting presentations! And to the Suchedniów Forest District for providing a picnic shelter for hosting a bonfire.



Leśne warsztaty dla dzieci Fundacji SAVE

Forest workshops with the wolves!

Forest workshops with the wolves!

In May and June, our foundation is implementing its original project “Get to know the forest beyond the fence – environmental education of elementary school students”, funded by the ORLEN Foundation (a grant under the My Place on Earth program). In cooperation with the Suchedniów Forestry Commission, we organize a series of field workshops for children in the most beautiful corners of the Świętokrzyska Forest, preceded by wolf lessons at school.

As part of the project, each participating class takes part in one lesson about the forest and its inhabitants. During the meeting, the head of the wolf project, Roman Gula, introduces the children to the forest theme, showing the most interesting photos and recordings from our project. He tells about wolves and other animals that live in our neighborhood, and what to do in case of encountering them.

The next stage is a field trip to the vicinity of Świnia Góra and the Dalejów Nature Reserve, led by our naturalists headed by Roman Gula and Jacek Major, with the steadfast support of Ms. Ania Wojkowska-Klata from the Suchedniów Forest District. During the approximately 2-3 hour walk, kids and their teachers get to know the forest and learn how to behave properly in it. How to distinguish a spruce from a fir? What creatures can be found in a forest puddle? Who leaves five-fingered tracks? Children learn about the dangers of trash abandoned in the forest, and collect it in a bag carried by caregivers. By the end of the first walk, the bag was almost full of trash found along the way!

A few words about wolves

The forest workshop is also an opportunity to learn a lot of interesting information about wolves, which our foundation has been studying in the Świętokrzyska Forest region for many years. Finding wolf poop is an opportunity to talk about what wolves feed on and show children what the work of a field biologist looks like. Students have the opportunity to identify and tag the droppings themselves, while learning how to use a GPS, and also try their hand at tracking a live wolf using a telemetry antenna!

At the end of the field part, a bonfire awaits the participants in the Forestry Classroom of the Suchedniów Forest District, where, in the shade of the trees surrounding this charming place, kids have the opportunity to roast various delicacies on the fire and rest after the walk.

At the end

So far, we have already held several lessons and workshops to which we took students and teachers from Elementary School No. 3 in Suchedniów, and we are slowly completing the project. During the forest walks we were fortunate with the weather, which was warm and sunny, and all the participating classes bravely overcame the beautiful, but at the same time sometimes difficult and marshy terrain, absorbing knowledge about nature and ecology.

Without you, we would not have succeeded!
  • Thank you very much to the Suchedniów Forest District for supporting our activities and providing access to the Forest Classroom, and especially to Forest Supervisor Piotr Fitas and Ms. Anna Wojkowska-Klata, education specialist, who persistently supported us during most of the workshops and shared her knowledge of forestry with the children. Thank you and we look forward to further joint projects!
  • We would also like to thank Ms. Renata Wikło, deputy director of the Stefan Żeromski Elementary School No. 3 in Suchedniów, for excellent cooperation in the implementation of lessons and workshops for school students!
  • And finally, we would like to thank the ORLEN Foundation, without which the project would not exist at all! We are grateful for selecting our idea from among many others and granting us the funds necessary to implement it.

Author: Joanna



Augustowskie wilki

Wolves from Augustowska Forest

24. April 2023| Wolf protection, Movies, Poland

Wolves from Augustowska Forest

Wolves from the Augustów area recorded on our photo trap.

In appearance, perhaps a little different from the świetokrzyskie wolves, but from behavior just as dog-like. Drinking water from the river, rolling in a dead fish, a quick pee, sniffing and whoring the camera…. These and other behaviors were recorded on our photo trap.

Meet the wolf family from the Augustowska Forest!

* The footage was recorded in November 2022 in the Płaska forest district, Augustów.

Author: Joanna



Wiosna w Puszczy Świętokrzyskiej

Spring in the Świętokrzyska Forest!

Spring in the Świętokrzyska Forest!

We are still continuing counts of forest ungulates until mid-May as part of our wolf diet research project.

On the occasion of field work, we visit extremely beautiful, wild and mysterious parts of the Forest, inhabited by a variety of creatures. Deer, frogs, newts, nuthatches…. Plus charming honeysuckles and hellebores, cheering up the undergrowth with their purple flowers.

📸 See what springtime Świętokrzyska Forest looks like in the lens of our talented volunteer Bartosz Sarnowski!


The field research is coming to an end soon, but we wouldn’t have been able to complete it on time if it weren’t for the support of our persistent volunteers and donors.

  • Many thanks to Mr. Marcin and the company Lanius-Books (lanius-books.com), which offers a variety of great equipment and accessories for nature lovers, for donating the Wilsus Accento photo trap. The camera is hanging in the wilderness and collecting material for us – in a few weeks we will see the first results!
  • We would also like to thank the Esperanza company (esperanza.pl), and in particular Mr. Adam, for supporting us with a pack of colorful rechargeable batteries they produce, which are also already working in the field and powering our photo traps. So far both the camera and the rechargeable batteries are working great.

Thank you!

Our Foundation is still looking for sponsors for the equipment we need (photo traps, SD cards, external drive, tablet, GPS, walkie-talkies, field clothes) – if you want to help us, let us know at kontakt@fundacja-save.pl We look forward to hearing from you!



HWC

"Human-Wildlife Conflict and Coexistence" conference

"Human-Wildlife Conflict and Coexistence" conference in Oxford, UK

HUMAN-WILDLIFE CONFLICT & COEXISTENCE CONFERENCE – Oxford 30.03.-1.04.2023

On 30.03-1.04 we had the pleasure of attending an international conference on human-wildlife conflicts, organized by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), the oldest international organization focusing on conservation issues.
The conference, attended by nearly 600 researchers, scientists and conservationists from around the world, was held in the beautiful English university town of Oxford.

Dozens of delegates from around the world spoke during the three-day meeting. A wide range of problems and methods of solving them were addressed, and the topics crossed almost every continent of the planet. From tigers in Indonesia, to lions and caracals in Namibia, elephants in Botswana, wolves and bears in Romania, to jaguars and gwanacos in South America. Conflict management methods, principles of effective education and the best techniques for working with local communities based on respect and understanding of needs were discussed. Among the speakers we had the opportunity to see many world-renowned scientists, such as wolf experts John Linnell and Luigi Boitani!

However, the conference was not only about lectures, but also, and perhaps most importantly, about meeting other participants and exchanging experiences. We had the opportunity to meet wolf researchers from other countries and hear about the latest ideas for new, innovative research, or lesser-known methods of resolving wolf-breeding conflicts.

Some of the lectures were recorded and are available on the organizer’s YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkP5dWpe7Mdu-D7prR7MeNQ.

Author: Joanna