Investigation on the lynx population biology (general information)

Since the early 2000s I have paid more and more research attention to the lynx Lynx lynx. At that time there were not much known about the species in Belarus. Thus for the beginning I raised only regionally important questions of the lynx ecology, which had been investigated in other parts of the species range, but seemingly they are not entirely answered still somewhere as well as in Belarus. Among  the basic ecological questions I considered the most common ones such as the  species population number and habitat carrying capacity, distribution of lynxes in its between-year and seasonal changes, home range and its structure,  prey supply and  foraging, diet in its between-year and seasonal changes, lynx predation impact on the prey populations, reproduction rate and mortality causes.

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Lynx

Doing the study on the lynx population ecology in Belarus  mainly in Paazierre Forest and Naliboki Forest, I assumed that in my study on the species there would be the regionally new knowledge only.  However, with time being already experienced with lynxes, I began to realize that the species is actually poorly studied particularly in non-mountain areas   of Europe.  I got convinced that in my study on lynxes in Belarus may be more or less  original findings re  the questions of giving birth (denning behavior and timing), raising kits up to four months old, home range structure and its usage (house spots, their components and usage)  particularly during summer and individual specificity of diets in the conditions of relatively poor supply with the lynx-relevant prey (roe deer, hares and tetraonids).  Another poorly studied, but very important question was  a competition of lynxes with wolves particularly interference.

​Investigating the lynx population in Belarus there were used the whole variety of standard methods including telemetry.  Doing telemetry on lynxes we faced with evident artefacts, which this method brings, but during radiotracking useful interesting questions on the lynx ecology and behaviour were raised (see  separate posts).  To push forward the study on lynx in Belarus, I have much hope in the collaboration with the Belgium zoologists and wildlife amateurs from the team of Wild Naliboki, first of all, Jan Gowvy and several others. To study the lynx ecology and behaviour in details, we try to elaborate another research approach  that will be based on the specially designed usage of many camera-traps and other standard methods, but without telemetry that we actually need not anymore. The last year brought fruitful results of such collaboration.

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Radiotagged lynx
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Lynx
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Investigating the marking point by male lynx
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Investigating the marking point by male lynx
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Marking with urine by male lynx
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Male lynx rubbing at marking point
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Marking with urine by male lynx
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Jan Gouwy, a friend of Wild Naliboki team,  the main collaborator in the study on lynx and wolf in Naliboki Forest
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Sanne Ruyts, a friend of Wild Naliboki team and collaborator in the study on lynx and wolf

 

In 2006-2008 I led the project for elaboration of  the National action plan for the lynx population in Belarus, and further we succeeded to keep the species in the Red list of the endangered species.

Partially the fulfilled studies on the lynx population ecology in Belarus were published in several articles and the books.

analysis-1“Analysis of vertebrate predator-prey community. Studies within the European Forest zone in terrains with transitional mixed forest in Belarus” – Tesey, 2011

vol2 “Naliboki Forest: Wild animals” – CHATYRY CHVERCI, 2016