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- the Scandinavian lynx project
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Study areas

SCANDLYNX research

During the last years, Scandlynx has conducted research in 6 study areas: 

(I) ”Lynx in the border area”
– The counties of Oslo, Akershus and Østfold (Norway), and adjacent areas in the county of Värmland (Sweden)

(II) “Lynx in southeastern Norway ” 
– The counties of Buskerud, Telemark and Vestfold in Norway

(III) “Lynx in the North”
– The counties of Troms and Finnmark in northern Norway

(IV) “Lynx in the reindeer herding area”
– The area in and around Sarek National Park

(V) “Lynx in Bergslagen”
– The southern parts of Bergslagen, centered around Grimsö Wildlife Research station in south-central Sweden

(VI) ”Lynx in Götaland”
– All counties in Götaland, Southern Sweden


SCANDLYX’ most important research assignments:

1. Lynx depredation on domestic sheep and semi-domestic reindeer (study areas II, III and IV)

2. The conflict regarding population estimates (study areas  II, III, I and VI)

3. Competition for ungulates (XXX I, II, V and VI)

4. Interactions between lynx and wolverine (study areas  III and IV)

5. Lynx dispersal and colonization of Götaland, Southern Sweden (study areas  VI)

6. Lynx population dynamics (all study areas)

7. Lynx social organization (study areas  I, II and III) 


1. Lynx depredation on domestic sheep and semi-domestic reindeer (study areas II, III and IV)

SCANDLYNX estimates the lynx kill rate on domestic sheep and semi-domestic reindeer in relation to the density and distribution of sheep, reindeer and alternative prey species. We also study 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.

2. Conflicts regarding population estimates (study areas II, III, I and VI)

In Norway and parts of Sweden population estimates are based on the number of reproductions (tracks in snow from family-groups). When it is difficult to distinguish two family groups, a “distance-criteria” based on home range size and movement pattern for marked individuals is used.

Our goal is to gather data about movement patterns of adult lynx, to validate the distance-criteria. An accurate population estimate is very important to calculate sustainable hunting quotas and /or regulation of the Scandinavian lynx population. Furthermore, we examine the use of hair-traps and camera-traps as alternatives to the snow-based lynx survey used today (study area I)

3. Competition for ungulates (study areas I, II, V and VI)

The effect of lynx predation on roe deer populations varies greatly among areas with different roe deer density. The interaction between lynx and roe deer is also affected by the abundance of alternative prey species, topography and climate.

One of the main goals for the lynx research in southern Scandinavia has been to gather new knowledge regarding lynx movement pattern and kill-rate on ungulates. Data on survival, reproduction and distribution of roe deer and sheep equipped with GPS-transmitters adds important knowledge for a more complete understanding of lynx-prey interactions.

4. Interactions between lynx and wolverine (study areas III and IV

It is well known that wolverines use carcasses from lynx-killed reindeer. One important aim for the project in Sarek is to assess the importance of lynx for wolverines, and if scavenging by wolverines influences lynx kill-rates on reindeer.

Does scavenging by wolverines mean that lynx abandon their prey, and thereby increase the lynx kill-rate on reindeer?

How important are lynx-killed reindeer for the wolverine?

5. Lynx dispersal and colonization of Götaland, Southern Sweden (study areas VI)

In Sweden, it is desired that lynx disperse towards the south (Götaland). Scandlynx studies this dispersal process by monitoring young radio-collared dispersers and by collecting DNA from lynx that are established in southern Sweden.

The goal for the research project in Götaland is to predict the lynx re-colonization of southern Sweden and estimate the effect of lynx predation on the roe deer population in this area. This study focuses on lynx predation, dispersal and establishment, space use and demography (reproduction, mortality and population-growth).

6. Lynx population dynamics (all study areas)

Even though Scandlynx, during the last 15 years, has gathered one of the most extensive sets of data available when it comes to large wild cats, the interactions between the different factors affecting lynx population dynamics are still unclear.

During the coming years, Scandlynx will continue to gather long-term data on reproduction and survival in different areas. We will examine how the different management regimes in Norway and Sweden affect lynx demography. Furthermore, we will develop harvest models that will assist management authorities in deciding future quotas for harvest of lynx.

7. Lynx social organization (study area I, II and III)

We have shown that lynx are territorial. We aim to complement this knowledge with genetic studies of the paternity of lynx kittens and studies to find if a limited female dispersal leads to kin-clusters (i.e. females in an area are closely related because daughters remain in the proximity of their mothers’ territory). 

SCANDLYNX study areas