Root plate awning and which mammal and bird species used it
Updated: Dec 30, 2021
Coauthors: Vintses' Sidorovich and Irina Rotenko
In Naliboki Forest not faraway from our house there are four lime trees, which were inclined by a strong wind. From one side of it the united root plate of these limes was lifted, and a root plate awning was created. Looking at the animal activity signs around the awning, there was evident that many animal species used it. Under the root plate the ground was dry like a comfortable bedding. This potential resting site was protected from precipitation and wind. The cavity under the root plate awning was large enough even for a deer. The inclined trunks could be a relevant refuge for such animals like lynx kittens or pine marten cubs.
We fixed several camera-traps for months, checking them regularly. A total, inside and around of the root plate awning there were registered the following species of mammal and birds: lynx (mother with three kittens and two different adult males), wolf, red fox, raccoon dog (a couple), pine marten, weasel, polecat, badger, red deer (mothers with calves), elk, roe deer, bison, wild boar, hedgehog, red squirrel, bats (2 species), forest dormouse, yellow-necked mouse, bank vole, hazel grouse, trashes (4 species), tits (6 species), chaffinch, wren, black woodpecker and white-backed woodpecker.
So, such a root plate awning is an important element of forest habitat structure and should be saved across forestry management.