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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Baltica 2015, first stage. Golden Jackal Bio Acoustic Monitoring in Ukraine and Poland

BALTICA 2015, first stage completed. 

by Ovidiu C Banea

Golden Jackal Bio Acoustic Monitoring (BAM) was performed in West Polesie, near Bialowieza Forest and in Biebrza marshes during 1-4 of March 2015 period. To this survey participated Ucrainian Environmental Ecologist Dr Andriy-Taras Bashta, Zoologist Dr Wieslaw Bogdanowicz from Poland and Environmental Ecologist MSc Ovidiu Banea from Romania, all members of GOJAGE (press release). Wigry National Park in NE Poland couldn´t be included in this survey.


During the night, 1 to 2nd of March we worked in Shatsk National Park in 15 calling stations already installed in september 2013 during Olbia 2013 wildlife survey in Ukraine.


Shatsk National Park was declared Biosphere Reserve in 2002 and in Poland another similar Biosphere Reserve was declared at the same time: Western Polesie Biosphere Reserve. In 2012 West Polesie Transboundary Biosphere Reserve was declared in Poland, Belarus and Ukraine.


Mr Volodimir Zakharko, director of Shatsk National Park assured that the golden jackal wasn´t reported in the area until this time, but, since in Tomasouka (Belarus) a jackal was killed in 2012, all rangers are informed about the possibility of the new species appearance. As in 2013 we didn´t perform BAM in the region of Tomasouka due to its location in Belarus and the missing of the travel visa.



Specific habitat, Zhorany Lake (NV Ukraine)

Specific habitat, surroundings of Bialowieza Forest (East Poland)

Specific habitat (East Poland)

Specific habitat (East Poland)

Suitable habitat (Zürich region, Switzerland)

Narew River, (Bialowieza, Poland) see here Vistula River Basin Catchment

Nature Reserve Pulemetske lake (NV Ukraine)


Zhorany lake (NV Ukraine)

Museum and Institute of Zoology, PAS Warsaw (Dr Wieslaw Bogdanowicz and Ovidiu C Banea)

Shatsk National Park Administration, NV Ukraine

Svitiaz village Nr 121, Beautiful place to stay with very welcoming hosts. Shatsk Park (NV Ukraine)

BAM for the golden jackal species in East Poland


Mammal Research Institute, Bialowieza (East Poland)

Dr Rafal Kowalczyk, Director Mammal Research Institute, PAS Bialowieza with Prof Dr Wieslaw Bogdanowicz, Director of the Museum and Institute of Zoology PAS and GOJAGE member talking about BAM in the area of Bialowieza and surroundings.

Sketch of the wildlife survey in Vecinity of Bialowieza Forest, 2nd of March 2015

Ovidiu C Banea, Volodimir Zakharko, Andriy-Taras Bashta and Vasyl

Dr Bogdanowicz perfomring BAM near Narew River

Hajnovka, Poland

Brunch in Shatsk National Park, Canadian bullhead fish (introduced species)


Nature Reserves in both Western Polesie and Shatsk Park Biosphere Reserves (2002)

Rafal Kowalczyk, Wieslaw Bogdanowicz, Ovidiu Banea


Sketch of wildlife survey in Biebrza marshes

Calling stations proposed for Baltica 2015, first stage. We couldn´t perform BAM in Wigry National Park, so this winter survey in NE Poland we consider incomplete and data of our results should be interpreted very cautiously.

Suitable habitat (Switzerland)

Ovidiu Banea & Andriy-Taras Bashta

RESULTS: 

Shatsk Park. In all 15 calling stations no response of jackal species was obtained. In 3 locations we heared the common crane Grus grus. We observed in the morning one Sciurus vulgaris and one Lepus europaeus. Director Volodimir Zakharko assured us that Canis lupus are present in the area, that in the Park Hunting is forbidden but that they had a special permission to hunt Vulpes vulpes. In 2014 an amount of 33 specimens of red foxes were collected. He also mentioned Nyctereutes procyonoides and Castor fiber species presence in the area.

Bialowieza surroundings. We analyzed 14 calling stations on day 2nd of March 2015 from 10:47pm to 4:55am. No jackal response, but in 2 calling stations we had responses of common crane again. We also observed 5 specimens of Lepus europaeus in one car route with longitude of about 70-80km and in one location we heared Athene noctua.

Biebrza marshes. From 10 proposed calling stations we performed BAM in 6 of them where the road had less traffic intensity. Again, no jackal responses.

To take home (conclusions):
1) Baltica 2015, first stage didn´t include Wigry National Park as we have proposed, so the results of this winter survey has to be cautiously analyzed. The hypothesis was that in this area of Wigry NP we will find jackal responses and in the other 3 natural areas also. The fact that we didn´t find responses in Shatsk, Bialowieza surroundings and Biebrza Marshes natural areas during this survey if it will be mixed with same findings in future surveys and with the possibility of the presence of the species in Northern Poland or W Lithuania will support LDD pattern we suggested before.
2) The Health of the ecosystems in NW Ukraine (West Polesie) and E Poland could be another limiting factor of jackal expansion to these natural areas. The presence of owls, wolves, foxes and other mesocarnivores could explain the missing of new trofic niche for jackals. Time will tell us if this assumption could be true.
3) Possible interaction of jackal with the common crane in native places could explain our findings in these wintering places (see here sympatric pattern of both species). This is one difference to take it in account with Balkans or SE Europe.. To assess this relation more data is needed anyway! To observe responses of the common crane in wintering places with jackal broadcast and other different sounds.
4) In NE Poland jackal could be present but this is not demonstrated yet! A new stage of Baltica 2015 will be organized in October 2015 to perform BAM in natural areas of Lithuania, NE Poland and perhaps NW Ukraine (West Polesie Transboundary Biosphere Reserve).

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