Snježnik pack

The Snježnik pack remains on the northwestern side of the local road, above the settlements of Gerovo - Tršće - Prezid. Their territory does not include any settlements, and the total size is about 80 km². The female Ines was collared in June 2002 as the first wolf to be monitored from that pack, though she left the pack during winter 2002/2003. During summer 2002, there were a minimum of four wolves in that pack, though during winter 2002/2003, that was reduced to two wolves, or perhaps only one – a large male. During spring 2003, Hilda left her parental pack Risnjak and joined the remaining members of the Snježnik pack.

2004 and 2005

In 2004, this pair had a litter, which included Felix. During winter 2004/2005, snow tracking confirmed that the pack consisted of four wolves. Until summer 2005, the Snježnik pack was monitored only via Hilda, while that summer, the female W12-Sara was also collared and monitored. Monitoring Hilda during spring and summer indicated that the Snježnik pack also had a litter in 2005, which was finally confirmed by the capture of a pup from that pack, named W13-Kyra. The Goreći vrh peak above Smrekova draga was the third place where the Snježnik pack moved its litter that summer, and the site where young female Kyra was captured. The monitoring of three wolves from a single pack was also the largest number achieved to that time in Croatia, and ensured a new dimension of the relations within the pack. Hilda, as one of the parents, spent her time searching for food or with the young pups. Until the end of summer, pup Kyra spent most of the time in one place, waiting for Hilda to return. It was also observed that such a young pup, only half a year old, could also walk up to 10 km (direct line distance) in a single night. Unlike Kyra, female Sara spent little of the end of the summer with the remainder of the pack. She preferred to leave, either alone or in the company of one or two other wolves, to the edge areas of the wolf territory and to the forest edges and near villages, where there are more deer and introduced mouflon, which are relatively easy prey for wolves. In early October, Sara joined the rest of the pack and since then it has been regularly recorded that all three monitored wolves move together through the pack territory. Kyra's collar stopped emitting a signal at the end of 2005.

2006

Sara's collar stopped emitting a signal after about a year, but she was re-captured at the end of summer 2006 and was fitted with a new collar. After her release, she returned to the Snježnik pack and continued to remain with Hilda, who to this point had been monitored for four years, making her the longest tracked wolf in Croatia. On the basis of frequent howling, it was confirmed that the Snježnik pack had a litter in 2006, with an unknown number of pups. The data obtained by monitoring wolves during 2006 showed that the Snježnik pack further expanded its territory to 353 km².

2007 and 2008

During winter 2006/2007, the Snježnik pack had at least six wolves, including Hilda and Sara. At the end of 2007, the only monitored wolf in the pack was Hilda. Sara was monitored until spring 2007 with two GPS collars, when she was shot by hunters in Slovenia as part of an approved intervention in the wolf population in Slovenia for 2007. In September 2007, a large male named W18-Max was captured and collared. Considering that he was caught in the middle of Hilda's pack, it was believed that he belonged to the Snježnik pack. However, already within the first week, he moved to the territory of the Suho pack and remained there several weeks. According to snow tracks, at the start of winter 2007/2008, the pack had 7 individuals, while later snow track counts indicated that there were six wolves. The size of the territory during 2008, obtained only through monitoring Hilda, was 184.5 km2. In comparison with 2006, when Sara was monitored, the territory then was 358 km2. Here it is evident that the monitoring using only the VHF collar (Hilda) gave a smaller calculation of the territory that achieved using a GPS collar.

2009

Two wolves were shot in the northern part of Gorski Kotar as part of the approved quota for 2008/2009, and both were shot within the territory of the Snježnik pack, which likely means that both wolves were members of this pack. During 2009, two young male wolves, W21-Luka and W22-Drago, were caught and collared. Both are likely the offspring of the female W5-Hilda, who was collared in 2002 and whose collar is still working.

2010–2012

Hilda remained at the edge of the Snježnik pack territory during 2010. After the capture and collaring of the wolf W26-Karlo, and in comparative tracking of both wolves, it became clear that Hilda was no longer with the remainder of the pack. She was already 10 years old and had either left the pack or had been forced out of it. Reproduction was not confirmed in the Snježnik pack, and it is not known whether another female took over the reproductive role of Hilda. During winter 2009/2010, the Snježnik pack had a minimum of seven wolves. Unfortunately, already in February 2010, two collared wolves in that pack were culled as part of a legal intervention in Slovenia. This was a significant loss for the Snježnik pack, and for wolf research in Croatia in general. Namely, the wolves Luka and Drago were shot in Slovenia on 25 February 2010, just ten days after they crossed the border into Slovenia (18 February 2010), for the first time during 280 days of tracking (i.e., of the total 280 days, they spent 272 days in Croatia). With the prior losses of wolves in Slovenia, this indicates the possibility that the wolf mortality in that country is greater than its population regeneration, and that the population's survival in Slovenia depends on immigration from Croatia. Based on the locations of Hilda, Luka, Drago and Karlo collected during 2010, the size of the Snježnik pack was 759.8 km², with a density of 0.92 wolves per 100 km². However, this area also includes certain additional territorial movements of Luka and Karlo, which require deeper analysis. In 2012, researchers in the area of the Snježnik pack found only 7 signs of wolf presence. Signs were not found in the usual places where the pack gathers, but instead suggested signs of wandering individuals in dispersion. In July 2012, the female W28-Tona was captured and collared, though her signal was lost after only two weeks. From the above, it appears that this pack no longer exists. Considering that this is a border area with Slovenia, and the fact that this territory is visited by individuals in dispersion, the pack has remained on this year's interpretation schedule for packs.
 

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