Linas Balčiauskas

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The conservation of large carnivores is a formidable challenge for biodiversity conservation. Using a data set on the past and current status of brown bears (Ursus arctos), Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), gray wolves (Canis lupus), and wolverines (Gulo gulo) in European countries, we show that roughly one-third of mainland Europe hosts at least one large(More)
Lithuanian wolves form part of the larger Baltic population, the distribution of which is continuous across the region. In this paper, we evaluate the genetic diversity of the Lithuanian wolf population using mitochondrial DNA analysis and 29 autosomal microsatellite loci. Analysis of the mtDNA control region (647 bp) revealed 5 haplotypes distributed among(More)
Due to their high mobility, large terrestrial predators are potentially capable of maintaining high connectivity, and therefore low genetic differentiation among populations. However, previous molecular studies have provided contradictory findings in relation to this. To elucidate patterns of genetic structure in large carnivores, we studied the genetic(More)
Vegetation parameters determining nest site selection by the hazel dormouse Muscardinus avellanarius were studied in a typical habitat where dormice are relatively common in Lithuania, the northern periphery of its distributional range. Dormice preferred nest sites with a better-developed understory, particularly with a good cover of hazel shrubs taller(More)
The extent of gene flow during the range expansion of non-native species influences the amount of genetic diversity retained in expanding populations. Here, we analyse the population genetic structure of the raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) in north-eastern and central Europe. This invasive species is of management concern because it is highly(More)
The influence of the annual spring floods on small mammal communities was studied in the Nemunas River Delta, SW Lithuania. The aim of the investigation was to compare the diversity of small mammals inhabiting spring-flooded meadows, meadows not subjected to flooding and spring-flooded forest in years characterized by differing heights and durations of(More)
By means of 845 questionnaires returned in 2009–2010, public attitudes towards the European bison were assessed in Central Lithuania. Free-ranging European bison have existed in this area for 40 years, inhabiting a suboptimal habitat characterized by intensive agriculture and fragmented forests. Despite 85.0 % of respondents reporting positive attitudes(More)
The body size of Palearctic Sorex shrews decreases at higher latitudes, and as such the Bergmann’s rule does not work. However, no analysis has ever been done for water shrew (Neomys fodiens) in the middle of distribution range. Analysis of available literature data showed that some body and skull measurements of N. fodiens are negatively correlated to(More)
Studying the isotopic composition of the hair of two rodent species trapped in the territories of Great Cormorant colonies, we aimed to show that Great Cormorants transfer biogens from aquatic ecosystems to terrestrial ecosystems, and that these substances reach small mammals through the trophic cascade, thus influencing the nutrient balance in the(More)
The Bartonella pathogen is an emerging zoonotic agent. Epidemiological studies worldwide have demonstrated that small mammals are reservoir hosts of Bartonella spp. and their ectoparasites are potential vectors. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of Bartonella infections in small mammals (Rodentia, Insectivora) and their ectoparasites(More)