The Wolf Intelligencer

"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." John Muir

Lithuania – Lietuva


Estonia / Latvia / Lithuania / Belarus / Ukraine / Moldova / Russia

Gray Wolf (Canis lupus)
Eurasion Wolf (Canis lupus lupus)

Population Statistics  [200-300?, probably exaggerated]
gyventojų statistika

Legal Status; Some protection but hunted heavily, legally and illegally.
legalus statusas

Aplinkos ministerija

Gamtos apsaugos asociacija „Baltijos vilkas
Lithuanian fund for nature – Wolf

News Resources & Publications
Naujienos ištekliai ir leidiniai – Delfi

Naujausia naujienos

Wolf and Wildlife News from Lithuania – Lietuva

Journal Articles

Changes in wolf (Canis lupus l.) diet composition after the outbreak of African swine fever in Lithuania. Špinkytė-Bačkaitienė R, Šimkevičius K, Laginauskas T, Kibiša A, Adeikis P. In11th Baltic theriological conference, 25-27 January 2021, Kaunas, Lithuania: abstract book. Kaunas: Vytautas Magnus university, 2021


Damage made by wolves (Canis lupus L.), namely the loss of livestock as well as competition to hunters, remains the point of most contention and thus an examination of diet remains actual. The aim of this study was to find out changes in wolf diet composition after the outbreak of African swine fever in Lithuania.The samples for wolves’ diet were collected during 2019–2020 in various places of the country. It was examined 126 cases of wolves’ food remains: prey remains in locations of kills and consumption (n=39), content of stomachs (n=18) and scats (n=69). Data from scats and stomachs were pooled together, but the data from prey kills remnants were analyzed separately to escape the increase of big prey part in wolf diet. Composition of wolf food was expressed in two ways: the percentage of scats, which contained different prey species relative to the total number of analyzed samples (frequency of occurrence F%) and the percentage of biomass of a particular food component relative to the total biomass consumed by wolves (B%). Collected samples were classified into two seasons for analysis: winter (October–March) and summer (April–September). Studied examples were compared with research results from 2004–2012 period, when 225 samples were analysed. Wolf diet in this earlier research consisted mainly of Cervidae (roe deer and red deer) 43.4%, wild boar 33.0% and beaver 18.1%

Golden jackal in Lithuania, a consideration of its arrival, impact and status. Stratford J. Zoology and Ecology. 2015 Oct


With the arrival of the first golden jackal Canis aureus individual in Lithuania in February 2015, the Ministry of the Environment moved immediately to add the species to the country’s list of species that may be hunted and in May 2015 published a draft order to list the species as invasive. Through extensive review of literature from across the range of golden jackal in Europe, the aim of this paper is to provide a balanced argument in support of the view that golden jackals arrived in the Baltic States as a result of natural spread and are thus not invasive. Alongside, arguments are also presented to support the view that golden jackals are not likely to have a significant impact on the Lithuanian environment beyond a potential reduction in red fox Vulpes vulpes numbers. Accompanying, a summary of official and media reactions to the arrival of golden jackal is presented and a set of conclusions delivered that could assist in the ongoing debate in Lithuania.

Diet composition of wolves (Canis lupus L.) in Lithuania. Špinkytė-Bačkaitienė R, Pėtelis K. Acta Biologica Universitatis Daugavpiliensis. 2012


he wolves (Canis lupus L.) diet was studied during the period from 2004 to 2012 by examining food remnants at locations of prey kills and consumption, through stomach analysis and through analysis of scats. Having 225 samples, 14 types of wolf food source were identified: moose (Alces alces L.), red deer (Cervus elaphus L.), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus L.), wild boar (Sus scrofa L.), beaver (Castor fiber L.), brown hare (Lepus europaeus P.), racoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides G.) and mousses (Muridae spec.), as well as small birds (Aves spec.), beetles (Coleoptera spec.), fruits and herbs and, in scats, remnants of cattle and objects of anthropogenic origin (plastic products). Using data obtained from 200 samples examined (wolf scats, vomit and stomach contents) it was determined that the remnants of ungulate animals prevailed (76.4% of samples examined). Wolf diet in the researched territory consisted mainly of Cervidae (roe deer and red deer) 43.4%, wild boar 33.0% and beaver 18.1%. %. A proportion of Cervidae in consumed biomass was calculated to be 56.4%, wild boar 27.0% and beaver 12.8%. It was found that wolves’ diet in Lithuania differed from that half century

Wolf Depredation on Livestock in Lithuania in 2009 and 2010. Špinkytė-Bačkaitienė R, Pėtelis K. InRural development: the fifth international scientific conference proceedings 2011 Nov


During 2009 and 2010 years 182 animals were killed by wolf in Lithuania. The biggest part consist of cattle (48.3%) and sheep (43.4%). Every year depredations on goats were determined as well, but this took a small part of all killed livestock (8.2%). No depredation was determined on bull or horse in both years. In Lithuania the biggest amount of killed livestock was in September (30.8%), October (15.4%) and July, August (10.4% each). No depredations were determined on livestock in February and March. During a single attack 1.8 animal was killed. But in average 3.3 sheeps were killed whereas 1.3 cattle was killed during a single attack. In average 1.9 goats were killed per attack. The biggest depredation on livestock in single attack in two years, when 17 sheeps were killed. Totaly were determined 96 depredations on livestock in 63 places in 2009-2010. The cattle were attacked in 16 of 44 districts in Lithuania. The cattle were attacked exclusively often in districts of Biržai and Kupiškis. But only small part of hunted wolves was from the districts where the biggest depredation was. The situation gives conclusion that wolf packs which live in Biržai and Kupiškis districts specialize o

Multi-scale analysis of forest fragmentation in Lithuania. Kuèas AN, Trakimas G, Balèiauskas LI, Vaitkus G. Baltic Forest. 2011 Jan


Forest fragmentation, which is usually defined as a landscape scale process that involves both loss of forest and its fragmentation per se, is important for understanding of ecological function and process. We performed a multiple-scale analysis of forest fragmentation based on 30 m spatial resolution forest/non-forest cover raster maps, derived from CORINE Land Cover database in Lithuania. We calculated forest fragmentation indexes within the fixed-set of non overlapping analysis blocks of five sizes (2.25, 7.29, 65.61, 590.49, and 5,314.41 ha) and classified them with certain category of fragmentation. Fragmentation assessed using proportion of forest was scale-dependent. In 2.25 ha size blocks 60.9% of all forest was classified as “inner” (those were at least 90% forested), but decreased rapidly in large blocks, so that less than 2% of this class were found in 5,314.41 ha blocks. The decrease of “dominant” forest (those were at least 60% forested) along the scale was less steep. In 2.25 ha blocks share of the “dominant” forest was 74.9 %, while in 5,314.41 ha blocks – 30.1 %. Fragmentation of forest landscape assessed by using two fragmentation components (proportion of forest and connectivity) was scale-dependent, more or less. Most Lithuanian forest was in fragmented landscapes. In the mid-size blocks (7.29 ha and 65.61 ha) 35.3% and 8.1%, of all forest was contained in a fully forested (“interior”) blocks, while 22.6% and 27.2% was attributed to an “edge”, 28.0% and 48.0% – “patch”, respectively. Share of “interior” forest was smaller in larger blocks, with less than 1% of forest was classified as interior in 5,314.41 ha blocks while proportion of “patch” forest reached 74.4% at this scale. Though, relatively less fragmented forest landscapes were in the south-eastern part of the country, our results suggest that fragmentation is so prevalent it could potentially influence ecological processes on most forest landscapes of Lithuania.

Estimation of carrying capacity and growth rate of wolf in Lithuania. Balčiauskas L, Kawata Y. Acta Zoologica Lituanica. 2009 Jan


The purpose of this paper is to estimate ecological carrying capacity (K) and growth rate (r) of Lithuanian wolf based on the estimated population sizes and number of harvests from 1966 to 2007. We used the modified Schaefer model where population dynamics is described by the logistic-equation-type growth function with time lag operator (τ) and harvest. We statistically selected the best model whose τ value was 4 and estimated value of K and r were 626 heads for the total Lithuanian territory and 0.776/ year, respectively. Then we examined the appropriateness of the values from the ecological point of view and concluded that ecological carrying capacity is supported by the prey base of wild animals, mainly cervids, and also by depredation on domestic animals. In 1994–1998, the population was near ecological carrying capacity or exceeding it, what we explain by high ecological plasticity of the species and increased use of domestic animals.

Wolf numbers and distribution in Lithuania and problems of species conservation. Balčiauskas L. InAnnales Zoologici Fennici 2008 Aug

Wolf damage to livestock breeders and humans œ historical overview of Lithuania. Balčiauskas, L. and Balčiauskienė, L., 2006.

Influence of place of residence and possible property loss on large carnivore acceptance in Estonia and Lithuania. Balčiauskas L, Randveer T, Volodka H. Acta Biologica Universitatis Daugavpiliensis. 2005

Habitat use by the wolf (Canis lupus L.) in North Lithuania. Špinkytė-Bačkaitienė RE. Baltic Forestry. 2005

Distribution, abundance and regulation of wild boar population in Lithuania. Janulaitis Z. Acta Zoologica Lituanica. 2003 Jan

Preliminary assessment of damage caused by the wolf in Lithuania. Balčiauskas L, Balčiauskienė L, Volodka H. Acta zoologica Lituanica. 2002 Jan

Possibilities of the development of the wolf population management plan for Lithuania. Balčiauskas L. Acta Zoologica Lituanica. 2002 Jan

Estimation of the state of lynx and wolf populations in Lithuania. Bluzma P. Acta Zoologica Lituanica. 1999 Jan

European bison (Bison bonasus) in Lithuania: status and possibilities of range extension. Balčiauskas L. Acta Zoologica Lituanica. 1999 Jan

The diet and reproduction of wolves in Lithuania. Prūsaitė J. Proceedings of the Academy of Sciences of Lithuanian SSR Series C. 1961

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