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Abstract

The main issues in hunting management in Belarus are environmental protection, social-cultural, and economic problems. The total area of hunting grounds in the area is approx. 16.6 million hectares, including approx. 7.4 million hectares of forestlands, 8.2 million hectares of farmlands, and approx. 1 million hectares of wetlands. The territory of Belarus is characterized by lowland terrain features and a large number and area of stagnant and flowing waters. Protected areas (parks, reserves) account for 8.7% of the total area of the country. The hunting management is implemented in 250 legal entities. The main user of hunting grounds is the Belarusian Associa-tion of Hunters and Fishermen managing an area of ca. 10 million hectares. Hunting management is implemented based on national legislation of 2005. In 2015, the population of the moose was 32 thousand, deer – 15.2 thousand, roe deer – 74.6 thousand, beaver –58.3 thousand, capercaillie – 8.5 thousand, black grouse – 37.3 thousand. Over the last 10 years, the population of moose has doubled and the population of deer and roe deer has increased 2.5-fold and 1.5-fold, respectively. In relation to the habitat potential and breeding recommendations, the current populations of game species (moose, deer, and roe der) do not exceed 70% of the expected number. There are wild boars, but their numbers have been substantially reduced from 80 thousand to 2–3 thousand due to the epizootic threat (ASF). The hunting size is limited with reference to the number of individual species and the abundance dynamics. The level of exploitation of Cervidae is 10–13% of the total abundance, beavers – ca. 15%, and capercaillie and black grouse – 8–10%. Wolves are a hunting species and their population size over the last 10 years increased from 1000 to 1600 individuals, and the culling size increased from 700 to 1400.
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