MINOR 2013 expedition to Artvin NE Turkey was delayed and another challenge is proposed for the same dates 18(19)-25(24) of September 2013: WEST 2013, Wildlife Survey in West Belarus and jackal´s ENA. This expedition will be organized by Ecology Department of NGO Crispus Sibiu Romania and the main objectives are to find jackal species signals near Tomasouka locality on Vigonoshchanskoe Lake surroundings in Brestkaya Voblasts, Belarus. Assumptions on Ecological Network Analysis will be held following local abundance of small ungulates or waterfowl but also in checking (with local authorities and Environmental NGOs or APB BirdLife Belarus (see Preliminary monitoring of raptors in Belarus here) the dynamic of the Great Gray Owl Strix nebulosa (a rare species in Belarus) which seems that decreased their offspring during 2011. Of course that several programs of monitoring small mammals (e.g. rodents) have to be performed together with jackal´s and Strix nebulosa dynamic studies and ecology of the species (stomach content) to demonstrate direct competition between species.
Vigonoshchanskoe Lake wetland included on 16/01/2013 in Ramsar Convention (Belarus has now 14 Ramsar Units) is part of Brest Region. Here one jackal was removed in January 2012 (see news here). Its surface is 54,182 ha; 52°42'N 25°40'E. Is the westernmost part of Belarusian Polesie. There are two large lakes on the territory as well as rivers, canals, floodplains and open marsh areas, including waterlogged forests, fens, transitional and raised bogs. The core of the Site is Lake Vygonoshchanskoe. The site plays a key role in maintaining the hydrological regime in the region and feeding the River Shchara, one of the River Neman's largest tributaries.
A possible route of jackal species migration is represented by the lowland and floodplains near Dnieper-Bug Channel (details) which forms part of the long distance trade route from Black Sea to Baltic Sea. It has 196 km including artificial waterway (105 km).
Full report on WEST 2013 will be published and also the results of the survey will help GOJAGE to a better understanding of jackal biogeography which remains elusive.
by O. Banea, Environmental Ecologist