Co-author Irina Rotenko
We wished to know which animals scavenge on elk carcasses and the way usually they do it. So we arrange camera-traps close to two useless elks in Naliboki Forest (a big forest-swamp terrain in northwestern Belarus).
Each elks died in early winter, however beneath completely different circumstances. Within the first case: a poacher shot an enormous feminine elk, however she escaped and died later. Her physique lay in a small glade, seen from the forest edge and the sky. Within the second case: a brown bear killed an enormous male elk and hid his physique beneath the pine tree cover in a boggy space. The 2 carcasses had been barely greater than 2 km aside, so we anticipated the identical scavengers to go to them.
We watched the carcasses all through the winter. Wild boars, ravens, and eagles consumed a lot of the elk carcass within the glade. Different scavengers, corresponding to crimson foxes, raccoon canines, pine martens, minks, polecats, weasels, jays, and wolves, additionally got here by, however that they had a minor function in consuming the carcass. See a number of the pictures beneath.
In distinction, the second elk carcass was hidden beneath the cover of a boggy pine forest. Wolves, crimson foxes, and raccoon canines had been the principle scavengers of this carrion. They needed to compete with one another and generally with a lone wild boar. Jays, pine martens, and weasels additionally ate up some elements, however they weren’t essential. Surprisingly, neither ravens nor eagles confirmed up on the carcass. The bear by no means got here again to its kill both.
You may help the analysis on giant carnivores in Naliboki Forest by shopping for only a espresso. It’ll assist to maintain the research going.