Space use and dispersal
We can monitor lynx movement pattern in detail using GPS-transmitters, which gives us important information regarding lynx space use and dispersal.
Lynx need a lot of space
Knowledge about the size of lynx home ranges can help us understand at what scale individuals and populations should be managed. Some of the most striking results from our studies of marked animals concern the size of their home ranges.
Lynx home range size varies a lot within Scandinavia. The largest home ranges are found in the north. The annual home range size for lynx males in Troms and Finnmark is 1500 - 3800 km2, and 500 - 2300 km2 for females. Further south, in more productive areas, the lynx use considerably smaller areas. Annual home range size in Akershus, Östfold, and Bergslagen is 500 - 1000 km2 for males, and 200 - 500 km2 for females.
Information concerning movement patterns and space use has been used to develop methods for lynx surveys.
Photo © SCANDLYNX
Young lynx normally leave their mother in March-April. The first months after they are separated the young stay close to their mother’s home range and most of them survive their first spring and summer alone.
Almost all young lynx disperse from their natal area a few months after they are separated from their mother. Yearlings can disperse large distances, often more than 150 km from their natal area. The record is a young male that was marked in Sarek National Park and dispersed 450 km straight distance south to Steinkjer. Young males disperse further than females before they establish their own territory. The mortality during dispersal is high; dispersing lynx are often killed due to illegal killing or traffic.
Photo © SCANDLYNX