Wolf workshop

Wolf workshop

11. January 2022In Wolf protection, Wolf workshop, Poland

Wolf workshop

On 18th December in Puszcza Swietokrzyska, we organized a “wolf workshop” for the winners of our photo contest.

Although the weather that day was not ideal, because the snow (on which we were counting for wolf tracking) had disappeared, we managed to carry out the plan fully. Before noon we gathered at the center near Skarżysko-Kamienna, where we first had a warming cup of tea and coffee and got acquainted with the workshop program and the theory on wolf monitoring, telemetry and research methods.

After the theory came time for practice. We set off to the forest in the Fund’s off-road vehicles, and traversing the forest’s muddy roads, we reached the area where the recently trapped wolf Geralt with a telemetry collar stayed. Using a directional antenna, the participants tried to pick up the signal sent by the collar, which they did successfully. The signal was weak at first, but it got stronger as we moved around, until we reached a spot where it was very firm, making it possible to locate the wolf 200-250 meters away from us. Unfortunately, it was hiding in the thicket of the forest, so it was impossible to see it, but just knowing that the animal was so close brought smiles to the faces of our guests. The rain, which seemed to spoil the trip a bit, made the forest road wet and gave the opportunity to find wolf tracks on it. So, the lack of snow was not an obstacle to take a close look at the imprint of big paws and even follow a piece of its trail. During our rally, we also came across wolf droppings left on the road, carefully collected by our researchers into a plastic bag, labeled with the date and coordinates of where they were found. The participants learned that they will be used for research to determine the components of a wolf’s diet and for genetic research on the local population. The plan for this part was completed. We returned to the base, where after a meal the participants, watched a presentation prepared by the head of our project, Prof. Roman Gula, during which he talked extensively about the activities of the Fund, the life of wolves and also answered numerous questions about wolf behavior.

The last thing we planned for the participants was a night escapade into the depths of the forest to try to get a wolf’s response through a simulation of wolf howling, and to give our guests a chance to become acquainted with these beautiful songs. We were apprehensive because we knew from experience that with the weather that evening, it would be very difficult to get the wolves to “talk,” but… we did it! After telemetrically tracking Geralt, in the surrounding darkness, we wailed, and he answered! With a long, drawn-out howl, he informed us of his presence. With that, the field workshop was a great success. We came back, warmed ourselves up with tea and talked about wolves and other topics long into the night.

Author: Maciej Szymczak



Wolf Scyzor

Wolf year 2021 - photo trap footage

Wolf year 2021 - photo trap footage

The year 2021 is coming to an end. These twelve months have been a very productive time for us, in which we have managed to collar two more wolves (Scyzor and Geralt), we engaged new people that joined the Fund, we updated our website, and published many informative and educational notes, posts, and videos about wolves.

We hope that in the next year, we will further develop our monitoring program in the Świętokrzyskie region.

We would also like to wish you many successes, prosperity and fulfillment of all your wishes in the coming year! May the new year bring peace and hope. We would like to thank you for supporting our Fund and we hope that in the coming year we will still be able to count on your support!

As a summary of our monitoring efforts, please see a compilation of photo trap videos presenting wolves from our region.

 

And what did 2021 look like for us in numbers?

– Number of people involved: 12

– Number of hours spent in the field: approximately 3220 hours

– Number of km our team drove during wolf tracking: about 9000 km

– Number of wolves monitored: 10 families/waters, about 60-70 wolves

– Number of telemetric tracks: approx. 6000

– Number of wolves collared: 3 (Bartek since November 2020, Scyzor since May 2021, Geralt since November 2021)

– Number of wolf droppings collected for diet analyses: 182

– Number of hours of footage from photo traps: approximately 1 hour of footage where wolves were recorded

– Monitoring area: approximately 5000 km2

– Number of published reports, publications: 2 (project report in 2020, article ‘Wolves under cover: The importance of human-related factors in resting site selection in a commercial forest’)

Author: Magda Strzała



Forest

Wolves and their prey on trail crossings

22. December 2021In General, Wolf monitoring, Movies, Poland

Wolves and their prey on trail crossings, part II

As we wrote in the note “Wolves and their prey on trail crossings” of 14 September 2019, ungulates can be recorded in the same places where wolves appear.

This time we present footage recorded on a photo trap placed in one location between 14 July and 23 October. The photo trap was placed at the intersection of several paths used by different animal species, near the place where wolves breed. Interestingly, these were also juveniles – calves, piglets. Wolves and elk were recorded more often at night, wild boars were recorded mostly during the day, deer only during the day, while roe deer were recorded both at night and during the day. We recorded wolves 43 times in this location – these were 1-6 individuals. Moose were recorded 19 times – 4 individuals wandering together. Wild boars were recorded equally often – 18 times, from 1 to 10 individuals together. Red deer and roe deer were recorded much less frequently: 5 times for red deer (1-2 individuals) and 4 times for roe deer – always single individuals.

Author: Tomasz Bracik



Wolf pack on photo trap

Wolves in the Daleszyckie Forest

A wolf family in the Daleszyckie Forest

During summer and autumn, we again managed to confirm the presence of the wolf family in the Daleszyckie Forest.

We were noting wolf tracks, their droppings, and prey remains in the field. On several occasions, I was able to record wolves using photo traps installed in the area. We filmed the activity of a wolf family consisting of 8 individuals – a parental pair, a young wolf (perhaps the offspring of the same couple from the previous year) and 5 six-month-old pups. The predators were active in front of the camera both during the day and at night. The largest recorded group consisted of 6 individuals (5 pups and 1 adult), and the pups were the most frequently recorded. We were also able to record many social behaviors of the predators, such as playing, resting, begging for food, returning food, as well as wolf noises – barking, whining and squealing. You can watch these behaviors in the video edited from footage taken between July 29 and September 29.

We have been monitoring wolves in the Daleszyckie Forest since 2018, and the footage was recorded near where the wolves were breeding in 2019.

Author: Tomasz Bracik



Wilk Geralt

Wolf Geralt

Wolf Geralt

On 16th of November, we managed to catch a fourth wolf in the Swietokrzyskie Forest. 

The wolf Geralt is a year and a half old male weighing 34 kg. After sedating and releasing Geralt from the trap, we provided him with a telemetry collar. The wolf awoke from anesthesia after 35 minutes. On the same day, he moved 2.5 km away from the catching site and rested for several hours. During the night, he started to move again and passed near the rendezvous point of a wolf family from the Swietokrzyska Forest. Everything indicates that this is a descendant of that pack from the last year. We expect that, like Bartek and Scyzor, he will soon leave his family, which now has at least 8 wolves with pups (note from September 9).

The purchase of the telemetry collar was possible because of a donation from the VanityStyle company, whom we would like to thank for their support! VanityStyle employees also helped us in choosing a name for the wolf.

Author: Roman Gula

 

Video from catching wolf Geralt:



Mapa wilk Scyzor

Scyzor is lost

24. November 2021In Wolf protection

Scyzor is lost

In late October, we reported that the wolf Scyzor had found a crossing on the A1 freeway. Unfortunately, shortly after that, the collar stopped transmitting the location through the GSM system. We set out to find Scyzor with an antenna – the collar also transmits a radio signal at 150 Mhz, which makes it possible to find the animal using a radio receiver and antenna. Unfortunately, several days of searching did not yield any results. Until the collar stopped transmitting the location, none of the parameters indicated that it was defective. We also did not receive information about Scyzor’s death – when the animal is dead and the transmitter does not move for more than 24 hours, the collar sends information about the animal’s death. In the whole area where Scyzor was staying in the last months there is a good GSM coverage, so there should be no problem with sending such signal. Everything indicates that the collar has been damaged in some way. It could have happened during a collision with a car, but the collar’s transmitter is designed to withstand a lot of stress, so it would have to be a violent collision. Scyzor could also have been shot, and the collar could have been intentionally destroyed. Unfortunately, the illegal killing of wolves is quite common in Poland. We recently reported on a female from the Daleszyce Forest District shot with a shotgun. We wrote about other cases of wolf poaching in the essay “Can We Protect Wolves?” (the text is available only in Polish).

Scyzor has been in the northern part of the Silesian Province in recent months (map). If any of our readers have information regarding Scyzor or a dead wolf from this area, please let us know via email (kontakt@save-wildlife.org) or phone 608 886 527.

Roman Gula

Wolf Scyzor map
A map showing Scyzor's wanderings in the northern part of the Silesian Province

Uczestniczka konkursu plastycznego

"Why should we protect the nature?" - art competition in the GOTEC company

"Why should we protect the nature?" - art competition in the GOTEC company

“Without nature, we won’t be here” ~ Rozalia, 8 years old.
“Let’s protect nature because otherwise, animals will become extinct, the oxygen produced by trees will run out, there won’t be drinking water” ~ Wiktoria, 13 years old.

These are two answers to the question “Why protect nature,” which we asked the children and grandchildren of GOTEC employees. As part of our cooperation with this company, we also encouraged the children and grandchildren of the employees to draw animals. We wanted to engage children in thinking about ecology and thereby hear their perspective on nature conservation. Our competition attracted 87 kids who submitted their beautiful pieces of art displaying animals from all over the world.

In the SAVE Wildlife Conservation Fund, we follow the Education4Conservation (E4C) strategy – we develop the environmental awareness for the long-term benefit of nature. We believe that learning about biodiversity, threats and ecological issues will make future generations take better care of nature. Our projects build bridges for future generations – to make wildlife a natural part of life again.

As part of E4C, our wolf conservation team organizes educational activities in schools, and at GOTEC, the company we work with, we run environmental campaigns.

In the media gallery, you can see some of the drawings created by the children and grandchildren of GOTEC employees.

Magda Strzała


Wolves in Poland in photo trap

Bartek and his six pups

4. November 2021In Wolf Bartek, Poland, Wolf protection

Bartek and his six pups

In August, we wrote about Bartek and his partner having 6 pups. In early October, we were able to record Bartek’s entire family. All 6 pups survived, and they seem to be in good shape. This proves the good hunting skills of Bartek and the mother of the pups. Feeding such a number of fast-growing pups is not an easy task. Currently, the youngsters can already weigh over 20 kg.

On the night footage, you can see that one of the pups is leading the group. He is being followed by Bartek. One can see that he had some injury – he is not leaning on one of his hind legs. He is followed by 4 pups – they look almost like adult wolves. They are slightly smaller and have less fluffy tails. Behind them goes the female, and at the end, the sixth pup.

A few days later, Bartek appeared on a recording again. This time he was walking alone. You can clearly see the collar and the piece of meat he carries in his mouth for the pups. This time he steps confidently on all his feet – apparently, the injury has healed.

Roman Gula


Wilki z Nadleśnictwa Łagów

Wolves are still present in the Lagow Forestry

3. November 2021In Wolf protection, Poland

Wolves are still present in the Lagow Forestry

Foresters from Lagow Forestry shared with us photos from a photo trap, which registered the presence of 4 wolves in the Lukawa forestry area. In this region, we have been conducting constant wolf monitoring since 2018. The photos are from October 4, 2021.

The material was recorded near the place where wolves were breeding in the Daleszyckie Forest area in 2019.

It is highly likely that the photographed individuals belong to the Daleszyckie Forest wolf family we monitor, which included 8 wolves in fall 2019 and 5 individuals in spring 2020 (notes of: 30 September 2019, 2 December 2019 and 25 April 2020, and 6 July 2020).

Tomasz Bracik


Wilk Scyzor

Scyzor found a crossing on an A1 freeway

26. October 2021In Wolf protection, Wolf Scyzor, Poland

Scyzor found a crossing on an A1 freeway

In August, we wrote about Scyzor’s wanders to the southwest. He was stopped by road no 91, the so-called Gierkówka. In mid-August, we visited the forest complex where he stayed for over two months. The Gierkówka, which is intersecting this forest complex, seemed difficult to cross. There are two lanes in each direction, separated by a metal crash barrier; additionally, there are wide, deforested and mowed lanes on the sides. Fortunately, the traffic is not too intense anymore – most of the cars have moved to the A1 highway, 7 km to the west.

Scyzor has approached Gierkówka many times, but he was afraid to cross it. One of the locations received from his GPS collar was exactly from the traffic island between the roadways. Fortunately, or rather thanks to his parents’ intelligence and good education, he always tried to cross the roadway in the middle of the night. He finally made a decision and crossed the Gierkówka for the first time on the night of September 11-12. He quickly reached the A1 freeway, but despite staying between the two roads for several days, he failed to find the two existing lower crossings under the A1 in this area.

The woods between Gierkówka and A1 were very fragmented and probably did not appeal to Scyzor – the wolf returned to the eastern side of Gierkówka. During the next weeks, he crossed it several times in both directions, but he did not find the A1 crossing and returned. Finally, on 16th October, he headed more south, passed through agricultural areas and came to a large forest complex stretching far west of the A1. At this point, after 3 days, he managed to find a passage and cross over the A1, but he quickly retreated and returned to its eastern side. Later, he went to the west side of the freeway several more times but always came back. We will see what he will do in the coming days – the road to the west is open to him.

Roman Gula