Wolf: total extermination or population management?

Photo Pixabay

Photo Pixabay

To this end, he specifically, at the request of the Chairman of the NTS Ye.K. Eskova, flew to Moscow from Sochi.

The meeting of the Council was held in Balashikha, in the Russian State Correspondence Agrarian University.

The lecture was invited to students of the Faculty of Game Management and Bioecology, future hunting biologists, who are at this time at the session, as well as students in the magistracy.

Some of them know the wolf firsthand.

They asked questions and shared their observations.

Anatoly Nikolaevich has been dealing with the problem of the wolf for 50 years. In the second half of the last century, a predator population began to decline in Russia. Of great importance at that time was the permission to use poisons.

Also an important role was played by the promotion of hunters: the state paid 150 rubles for the prey of a she-wolf, 100 rubles for the prey of a wolf and 50 rubles for the little wolf.

In the 1990s, these rewards were canceled, and the wolf later became a hunting species. Its number increased, wolf-dog hybrids appeared, which can only be visually distinguished from the third or fourth generation. The wolf's behavior has also changed.

The speaker spoke in great detail about the features of the biology of the wolf. Real, "wild" wolves do not have contact with humans. They live in a territory remote from people, feed on wild animals, remain wary and all the habits of wild relatives.

Such wolves live in the mountains of the Caucasus. "Synanthropic" groups of wolves live next to a person. They feed in landfills, garbage dumps, cause damage to small and cattle; mastered the habitat for felling. Here they feel very comfortable.

In the Caucasus, there has never been a sharp drop in the number of wolves. In the pursuit of human "wild" groups went into the mountains. There the hunting of wolves is very difficult.

There are 4 geographical populations of the wolf in the Caucasus:

West Caucasus, with a center in the Caucasus Reserve;
Central Caucasus, with its center in Kabardino-Balkaria;
East Caucasian, mountainous, with the center in the mountainous Dagestan;
East Caucasian plain, with the center in the Caspian lowland.

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Each population has its own number, habits and degree of synanthropization. The plain steppe population is characterized by a large proportion of wolf-dog hybrids.

Due to this and the behavior there, the pre-war area of ​​the number of wolves was restored.

By the way, wolf-dog hybrids are always obtained from putting a wild she-wolf and a dog. And male wolves never mate with female dogs.

Data on the extraction and registration of the number of wolves show that the most "wolf" regions in the south of Russia are the Krasnodar Territory and Dagestan.

At the same time, in the Krasnodar Territory, only about 250 wolves (30% of the population) and 2,100 jackals are hunted annually. In Dagestan, about 39% of wolves of the population are harvested. In the Chechen Republic, even less – 13%. But in Kalmykia almost 73%!

Observations and monitoring in Dagestan showed an increase in the number of wolves and jackals from 2007–2008. Until now. Previously, these two species were antagonists, but now they have become tolerant of each other.

The reason for this – the increase in the proportion of wolf-dog hybrids. According to A.N. Kudaktina, the time has come not to exterminate the wolves on the spot, but to control their numbers based on the knowledge of the biology of the species.

As shown by the analysis of the skulls and teeth of wolves taken from hunters, hardened animals make up less than 10% of the prey. This is especially true when hunting salary with flags. Losses suffered by wolves as a result of hunting are quickly restored at the expense of the annual offspring.

In the wolf pack, mother wolves play the main role. They choose the territory, places for lairs, feeding, transitions, etc. A hardened wolf, visiting a den and bringing food, each time comes to him in a different way, leaving almost no traces.

With the death of a she-wolf in the group, chaos begins. A new pair is formed only within 2-4 years. A new family is going to the fringe sections of the group. There is the introduction of new adult wolves, with constant territorial conflicts.

Sometimes the death of a mother stimulates an increase in the number of wolves in a given territory due to the introduction of new individuals. A perennial pair of wolves protect their plots and keep their numbers stable.

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Knowing such a family, it is enough to annually destroy only wolves. After their death, adult wolves stop killing ungulates and switch to rodents and rabbits, as they now need to feed only themselves.

Of course, the management of populations in each region should have its own specifics. In places of intensive animal husbandry, the presence of large areas of specially protected territories it is very difficult to fight a wolf.

It should be borne in mind that among the wolf groups there is food specialization. There are hares, hares, scavengers.

So, for example, after the fall in the number of wild boar due to ASF, a sharp decline in wolf groups specializing in wild boar was noted. But, in principle, with a shortage of the main feed resource, they can switch to other feed.

A special problem is the regulation of the number of the flat (steppe) wolf population. There are many wolf-dog hybrids with different behavioral features. There have been cases of attacks on livestock, when domestic dogs barked and were distracted by a part of the pack, while several wolves slaughtered and carried away livestock.

It is necessary in the habitats of synanthropic groups of wolves to allow their year-round shooting, that is, to return to the previous rules of hunting.

In the regions, it is necessary to introduce the state post of a professional wolffish, which must be at least one specialist in three or four districts. Of course, he should receive a fairly high salary, be biologically literate and conduct regular monitoring of wolf populations.

He must organize the search for lairs, the removal of wolf puppies from them and carry out battled hunting for wolves during the winter months. At the same time it is advisable not to touch the mountain populations of wolves at all.

The speaker also dwelt on another form – the jackal, whose range is quickly restored, the beast moves and settles in other regions of Russia. He is met in the Saratov, Voronezh regions, Stavropol Territory and even in some regions of southern Central Russia.

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A great positive role in the distribution of the species is played by the revival of agriculture and the creation of protective forest belts in which the animals move. An important role is played by increasing the fecundity of the species.

Earlier, about four puppies were noted at the jackal in the litter, now it is already 7-8. As a food resource, in addition to mouse-like rodents, pheasants increasingly act.

Intensive breeding of pheasants and their regular release into lands has led to the fact that today the pheasant has become a common view of the Kuban. In addition, jackals are actively feeding on waste dumps and dumps. Foxes cannot compete with them. Their numbers have decreased dramatically.

Eating mostly mouse-like rodents in the field, they repeatedly became victims of mass poisoning, picking up mice on the fields of the dead from chemicals.

To fight the jackal, it is necessary to allow its year-round shooting and significantly increase the cash premium for the extraction of females, while shooting the males and puppies to be encouraged by non-monetary funds (issuing free vouchers and hunting licenses, etc.).

The co-rapporteur was the chairman of the Moscow Society of Hunters and Fishermen, Candidate of Biological Sciences V.M. Kiryakulov. He spoke about wolves in the grounds of the MOOiR.

Lands MOOiR make up most of the hunting grounds of the region and occupy 3 million 200 thousand hectares. The number of wolves is regulated by staff members of hunting farms in the amount of 436 people. Now the number of the wolf is 30 heads. How many family groups are unclear.

Mostly wolf is found in peripheral areas on the borders with neighboring areas: Smolensk, Kaluga, Tver, Ryazan. Most likely, these are alien individuals, they come and go. Recently, a pair of wolves was noted in the New Moscow region.

Sergey Fokin
                     July 24, 2019 at 13:22

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