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- the Scandinavian lynx project
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Predation

An efficient hunter

Lynx sneak up on their prey without being noticed. After a short sprint the lynx will usually kill larger prey by biting over their throat. The lynx is an efficient hunter. In 62% of all documented hunting attempts in Østerdalen, lynx managed to kill its prey. The largest success rate was observed in hunting attempts on larger prey. We also found that females with young were the most efficient hunters.


Photo © SCANDLYNX


Lynx and roe deer

In general, roe deer are the most important prey for lynx in southern Scandinavia, both summer and winter. This is also the case in Østerdalen, where the roe deer density is low. When it comes to smaller species, mountain hares are the most important prey.

Many people are concerned about the number of roe deer that are killed by lynx and how this affects the roe deer population. Locally, the effect of lynx predation on the roe population can be high in areas with low roe deer density and low population growth. In those areas lynx can kill the entire surplus that would be available for hunting, even when the lynx density is low. On the other hand, the effect of lynx predation on roe deer is relatively low in areas with high roe deer density.


Lynx, domestic sheep and semi domestic reindeer

There are no large wilderness areas in Scandinavia today. Hence, we need to maintain viable populations of large carnivores in areas with livestock husbandry, which leads to extensive conflicts with sheep and reindeer husbandry.
SCANDLYNX estimates the rate of domestic sheep and semi domestic reindeer killed by lynx, and studies lynx movement patterns in relation to the density of sheep, reindeer and alternative prey species.

This knowledge can be used to develop management tools to minimize the conflict between carnivores and livestock husbandry, and improve the conditions for the free-ranging sheep and reindeer herding practices. Furthermore, this knowledge is important to validate the level of economic compensation for sheep and reindeer that are killed by carnivores.
 


Photo © SCANDLYNX

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