An efficient hunter
The diet of the Eurasian lynx consists mainly of deer where they are accessible. The Eurasian lynx is mainly associated with the boreal coniferous forest that stretches from the Atlantic Ocean and Norway, and east towards the Pacific and the Bering Strait. It is also found further South, but then mainly in mountain areas. In Western-Europe species such as roe deer, chamois, red deer, domestic sheep, wild and domesticated reindeer are the most important dietary components.
In Southern Norway roe deer are the most important animal of prey. Lynx try to sneak up on the animal without being seen, and then attack. Lynx rarely prepare for an ambush, like it was claimed in earlier times. After a short sprint the lynx will usually kill larger prey by biting over their throat.
There is a lot of concern about how lynx effect the number of roe deer. Lynx are efficient hunters, and can have a large effect on the roe deer population in areas with low roe deer density. However, lynx seem to have less effect on the roe deer population in areas with high densities of roe deer.
We lack large areas of wilderness in Norway, and therefore conservation of predators needs to be integrated with human utilisation of wildlands (“utmark” in Norwegian). This leads to large conflicts with the reindeer and sheep herding industries.
Photo © SCANDLYNX