Coauthor Irina Rotenko
During the warm season of 2021 in Naliboki Forest we investigated post-denning life of four families of Eurasian lynxes. Doing that, we applied about sixty camera traps. Among the mother lynxes there were three model females (Aurelija, Jurchykha and Darota), which we traced for several years before, and one newly appeared mother lynx. The number of kittens varied from one to three: 1 (the new mother), 2 (Jurchykha and Aurelija) and 3 (Darota).
A post-denning phase in raising of kittens begins when kittens start walking with the mother. In the traced families that happened in the end of July and the beginning of August. The earliest registration of a mother with kittens following her was gained on 2oth July in Darota’s case.
The most spectacular footage was put together in two videos: the first one about Darota’s family with three kittens and the second one about Jurchykha and her two kittens. Here it is worthwhile to notice that these two videos were made for YouTube, and so they include only some our video-materials of 2021 that may be interesting for a high amateurship of wildlife.
Below we summarized our materials on the question. The materials were gained both the warm season 2021 and before.
Behaviour of a mother lynx at kittens predominantly consisted of playing with kittens (44% of the time, n=662 video and photo registrations), watching around from a spot of kittens’ stay (15%), joint sleeping (19%) and grooming kittens (13%). About 3% of the time a mother lynx was grooming herself. Interestingly, that mother lynxes were absent of the spots of kittens’ stay so little time around 6% only.
Respectively, a question arises. How is a mother lynx able to feed kittens, because she is free from kittens so little time that is seemingly insufficient for foraging enough? Here it is worthwhile to notice that we rarely registered that a mother lynx was bringing some food to her kittens, while she was coming back to a kittens’ refuge. At the same time, an adult male lynx (possible father) was ordinarily present in the homesites of each family that was traced by us.
The above features indirectly suggests that even in the warm season an adult male perhaps frequently forages a family, which stays in his home range.
Additionally to the numerous video-registrations of an adult male nearby a family, we found that big footprints of adult males were ordinarily present in family homesites at shelters, playgrounds and remains of kills. It is plausible that an adult male brings food in a close proximity to a family, calls and leaves food there. In winter we already have one well-documented situation, when an adult male lynx hunted four roe deer for a family, and the family fed on the kills.
At the same time there is no doubt that a mother lynx hunts as well, but seemingly it is not the only food resource for feeding of kittens.
In this aspect it is worthwhile to notice that, when a mother lynx killed something more or less big such as a roe deer, she tends to drive kittens to the kill. Concerning bringing of food by a mother lynx to a spot, where kittens stay, only small prey were usually brought by the mother.
When a mother lynx is watching around from a spot of kittens’ stay, kittens are either quiet (sleeping, grooming) – 72% of the time, or playing – 28%. When a mother lynx is absent at kittens (perhaps, she went for hunting), kittens are predominantly quiet – 91% of the time.
In Naliboki Forest we investigated a lot the habitats which were frequently used by mother lynxes during post-denning raising of kittens. The results could be listed by many habitat combinations. However, when we carefully analyse that huge accumulated information on lynx family habitat usage, it becomes evident one main feature that is present in all of them without any exceptions. It looks like in Naliboki Forest a lynx family prefers a combination of the following three environmental components such as old forest with some fallen trees, treefall spots and opening edges. That opening in the most of cases was either drained lands with grassy field or abandoned peatery. Also, such an opening may be an agriculture field or an open river valley. As to an old forest, all types of them were liked by lynx families. Anyway, we would like to say that in Naliboki Forest lynx families prefer spruce-deciduous mixed one with oaks in the tree stand. Broadleaved deciduous old forest was slightly less engaged by lynx families, and old coniferous stands were inhabited markedly less often than other two mentioned ones.
Despite of getting more and more information on lynx family life, it appear feeling that there are so much still unknown on the question. The two following documented situations from lynx family life are good examples on this aspect.
In the early January 2020 one model mother lynx (we call her Aurelja) having one own kitten has adopted a kitten of another (neighboring) mother lynx after her dearth. The kitten, which lost the mother, roamed alone about 20 days gradually approaching the house area of Aurelja. Finally, we photo-documented both kittens together with Aurelja in the thicket, where Aurelja stayed frequently and when they were crossing a canal by a fallen tree.
Another example is even more surprising you may see on the second video. On 18th August 2021 we video-documented playing of two kittens of one model mother lynx (Jurchykha). After the family get out of the frame of the camera trap, the same minute another unknow small kitten appeared, which was not registered with the family neither before nor after the event. This small kitten in the same position was 20% as smaller than the smaller kitten of Jurchykha. There is no a good idea what that was. The only rough guess may be said that this small kitten could be one of Jurchykha’s former daughter. This relative family could appear nearby that moment, and the small kitten tried to approach the playing family.
8 thoughts on “Results of study on Eurasian lynx post-denning family life in Naliboki Forest during the warm season of 2021”
Great result again Vadim/Ira! And beautiful vids.
The hypothesis that a male (probably the father) helps with the supply of food seems very plausible to me.
Am I right in saying that I think I see Yurchyha has two male kittens this year?
Dear Gerard, thanks, we are almost convinced in a great role of an adult male lynx in life of a family staying within his home range. Such an adult male lynx protects family homesites and forages for the family not infrequently. We have already got convinced that such an adult male lynx bring a kill in a family proximity, calls, urine-marks the kill and go away. It is a random spot in the proximity of family place, and it is unpredictable where to put camera to photo-document that. With track we already got convinced in that.
Yes, Jurchykha has two kittens this summer.
Warm regards, Vadim
amazing these two video congratulations
Le mar. 16 nov. 2021 à 20:55, Zoology by Vadim Sidorovich a écrit :
> Vadim Sidorovich posted: ” Coauthor Irina Rotenko During the warm season > of 2021 in Naliboki Forest we investigated post-denning life of four > families of Eurasian lynxes. Doing that, we applied about sixty camera > traps. Among the mother lynxes there were three model females (” >
Great job and very interesting findings. I wonder to what extent the behavior observed in the Naliboc Forest can be translated to other forest complexes on the European lowlands?
Thanks. What does it mean ‘can be translated’?
I mean, can we assume that lynxes in other European forests, here I am referring specifically to the Bialowieza Forest, behave in a similar way?
Yes, I think so, particularly in the case of Bielaviezha Forest that is actually no faraway, and both forested terrains are so similar in habitats.
The problem is that studying on Eurasian lynxes within academic zone (with a project system and too much ‘applying-reporting…’ in a cabinet ) a lot of behavioural and ecological things are actually missed. Currently, I am writing up a large monograph on the Eurasian lynx and I may send you a part from Introduction draft that can help you to understand my point of view. The Introduction part includes more information, perhaps, that you actually need, but it is time-consuming to shorten that.
The Introduction part:
The initial goal of the fulfilled studies on the lynx was just to get regional knowledge on the species’ population dynamics and ecology in Belarus, because there was little known about lynxes in Belarus. That was in the mid-1990s, when it looked like it would be impossible in Belarus to learn something new about the lynx as a species. In western and northern Europe (e.g. Switzerland, Poland and Scandinavia), lynxes were studied in high budget research projects including telemetry studies, whereas in Belarus, the study on lynx ecology and behaviour was performed by private efforts without any financial or practical support from other parties.
At that time, I mainly applied snowtracking, track-based census, scat analysis and some other methods (Sidorovich, 2011). Some common, basic ecological questions were investigated, such as population number and habitat carrying capacity, home range size and home range structure, prey supply and foraging, temporal changes in diet (between years and seasons), reproduction rate and mortality causes, lynx predation impact on the prey populations and population structure. Let’s say that these zoological questions, perhaps, were raised by any other lynx researcher in any other country. The questions are hard to investigate entirely, but anyway they are initial and basic questions for all lynx researchers. In our own lynx study, we did not entirely answer all these questions, although at that time we achieved substantial progress for the region of Belarus. In the early 2000s, I realized that the Eurasian lynx as a species was not sufficiently investigated across its range. At that time, by studying the Eurasian lynx I tried to pay more attention for several poorly known questions to acquire original knowledge on the species level. Those questions were denning behaviour and timing of parturition, raising of kittens up to 3 months old, home range structure and its usage particularly during summer, individual specificity of diets in the conditions of relatively poor supply with lynx-relevant prey (roe deer, hares and tetraonids), hunting modes, mating behaviour and the role of trees in the life of lynxes. Another quite distinct and poorly studied, but very important question was about competition between lynxes and wolves, particularly interference between these two species.
Only in 2006-2008, we got two projects financed by state budgets in the Institute of Zoology of National Academy of Sciences of Belarus: one for telemetry study on lynxes, and another one for elaboration of the National action plan for the lynx population in Belarus.
In 2012-2015, we had another big project on lynxes: a telemetry study in Krasny Bor, Paazierre Forest in northern Belarus. This telemetry project had excellent equipment (including GPS-GSM telemetry) and many helpers; it was financed by the “Krasny Bor” game husbandry and “Interservice” company.
Within these three lynx projects, we continued investigating the main ecological traits of the lynx in Belarus. Moreover, we advanced a lot in studying of the above poorly studied questions. Also, the fulfilled telemetry study raised many useful new questions and showed evident problems and artefacts of the method. As we think afterwards, the main problem of any telemetry study on lynxes is that the species often use long-lasting hunt-watching (i.e. watching for an opportunity to hunt) without moving that is registered as inactivity. Registering this highly active behaviour (i.e. hunt-watching) as inactivity is a horrible artefact of telemetry, and that nullifies all other evident merits of the method. Another plausible problem is the high stress that the radiotagged lynxes were evidently being exposed to, while researchers captured, handled and radiotagged them.
Despite the fact that we used the softest techniques available of catching and radiotagging lynxes, we were unsure how much time it would take for such stressed lynxes to recover and start behaving fully natural again. A study of the effect of live-capturing on the space use of lynxes has demonstrated that it took lynxes significantly longer to return to the area of their capture compared to other home range patches (Moa et al., 2006). Even though some reservations can be made regarding these results, at least, they underline the fact that we don’t know much about the effect of live-capturing on lynxes. In our telemetry study on lynxes one softly captured adult male (there was no any wound) after radiotagging and releasing went faraway from the spot of capture, ranged a lot, and then died in a month. There is much support that the stress of capture and handling was the cause of this lynx death. Moreover, living in close proximity to each other, such a stressed lynx may be interfered by the neighbouring lynx of the same sex. A stressed lynx can get much more vulnerable to aggression of wolves. In the most of the Eurasian lynx range the species lives in close proximity to wolves, and both species interfere with each other rather frequently year-round. The given study fully confirmed the above statement. Because of all the mentioned challenges and some other smaller shortcomings (e.g. injury while live-capturing) in applying telemetry on lynxes, we have finally renounced this research method.
For the study of the local lynx population in Naliboki Forest in central-western Belarus in 2014-2021, we already adapted a newly elaborated, non-invasive methodology. This method to investigate lynx ecology and behaviour includes a lot of lynx habitat inspection, snowtracking of lynxes, reading their activity signs and smart usage of many camera traps with distinguishing of individual lynxes by spot patterns on their fur.
In Naliboki Forest, we tried to enrich our studies on lynxes by using a lot of camera traps in a smart way, which means not only putting them on pathways and at random but also, and especially, in somehow interesting spots, which were found during a lot of habitat inspections and reading of lynx activity signs. In 2017-2018, after a row of interesting new results on lynxes, we began to realize that many basic ecological and behavioural traits of the species are unknown, whereas the commonly spread knowledge about the lynx quite often appears to be insufficiently detailed and even often not entirely correct. This explains the choice of the title of this pilot book on the ecology and behaviour of the Eurasian lynx that we have published in 2018 (Sidorovich et al., 2018).
It doesn’t mean that we have many doubts about the knowledge on the species that was gained by many respectable colleagues. We respect all the research efforts of other researchers of the Eurasian lynx. However, the new findings in our study in Belarus show ecological and behavioural traits so distinctive from the lynx traits presented before, that we feel we need to say “Unknown Eurasian lynx”, when we chose the title for our pilot book on the species.
Moreover, other published detailed and thoroughly fulfilled studies on the Eurasian lynx were mainly carried out in atypical environments compared to the largest part of the lynx distribution range, such as the Jura Mountains and Alps of Switzerland (e.g. Breitenmoser-Würsten et al., 2007; Boutros et al., 2007; Molinari-Jobin et al., 2007) and harsh ambient conditions of more or less rocky regions of Scandinavia (e.g. Sunde et al., 2000a, b; Linell et al., 2001; Danell et al., 2006; Moa et al., 2006; White et al., 2015; Walton et al., 2017). However, most Eurasian lynxes actually live in non-mountainous areas of the Eurasian temperate forest zone (Geptner and Sludskii, 1972; Matyushkin and Vaisfeld, 2003).
While reading what was published about the Eurasian lynx ecology and behaviour in mountainous or rocky regions and comparing that with our results on similar questions in Belarus (situated in the non-mountainous region of the Eurasian temperate forest zone), we found that the species displays very distinctive traits. In non-rocky, flat or slightly hilly regions like in Belarus, abundance of mosquitoes and other blood-sucking insects, rainfall and the presence of a very limited number of relevant refuges from these unfavourable factors are strikingly important for lynxes, and they strongly determine the species distribution, movement and habitat use in the snowless period. In rocky areas, such refuges are present everywhere and more or less evenly distributed. Moreover, the rocky relief provides plenty of windy sites without blood-sucking insects and with good visibility from numerous elevations, which is very important for efficient hunting. On the contrary, in forested, non-rocky regions, refuges from blood-sucking insects and weather conditions are scarce, especially those that are suitable for lynxes. Suitable refuges for lynxes should be situated in places where prey are common, so they provide not only refuge, but at the same time opportunities for hunt-watching (i.e. watching for an opportunity to hunt). Otherwise, lynxes would just have a comfortable stay, but without food. If lynxes would hunt mainly by undertaking long walks and stalking, evenly distributed throughout their home range, they would be attacked by blood-sucking insects all the time from late April until early October. Long walks in areas without good shelter would also mean being wet a lot from April until December, when rainfall is common.
Therefore, refuges where lynxes are protected from blood-sucking insects and moisture and from where they can initiate a hunt (i.e. hunt-watching) are crucial factors in the ecology of lynxes in non-mountainous regions of the Eurasian temperate forest zone. We think that the differences in abundance and distribution of refuges in mountainous versus non-mountainous regions are the reason of the strikingly different ecological and behavioural traits of the Eurasian lynx. Our hypothesis is that lynxes in the warm season in the non-mountainous regions of the Eurasian temperate forest zone, first of all, choose places with refuges which offer them protection from mosquitoes and rainfall, and at the same time allow them to hunt efficiently, whereas abundance of prey is a secondary factor of their terrain use, movements and distribution. Because such suitable refuges are not common in non-mountainous regions of the Eurasian temperate forest zone, and because we found that the prevailed mode of hunting in our study area in Belarus is from ambuscades in a few certain spots, lynxes have a patched home range and spatial population structure. Other factors explaining the differences in lynx hunting behaviour between mountainous and non-mountainous regions are easier visibility of prey from mounts and other relief elevations, and the presence of numerous openings in mountainous areas. In flat or slightly hilly areas densely covered by forest, the possibilities of lynxes to catch prey differ a lot, depending on the location. This becomes clear, if we compare randomly taken points with specific spots at prey pathways with suitable ambuscades nearby. We believe that this aspect influences lynx hunting modes a lot and may explain the emergence of different hunting styles of the predator in mountainous and non-mountainous regions.
One more essential aspect is the abundance of swamped habitats in non-mountainous regions, as this habitat type brings many advantages and disadvantages for lynxes, changing their ecology and behaviour. For instance, in the respect of the above-mentioned specificity of lynxes living in non-mountainous regions of the Eurasian temperate forest zone, swamped habitats are characterized by both concentration of prey and high numbers of mosquitos and other blood-sucking insects. While adapting to these, lynxes may form a strikingly distinctive behaviour and ecological traits compared to those in elevated rocky regions.
Thus, even if those mentioned studies in the elevated rocky regions (mountains and rocky regions of Fennoscandia) are fully correct and provide detailed knowledge about lynxes there, anyway, the Eurasian lynx remained largely unknown in the largest part of the species range: the non-mountainous regions of the Eurasian temperate forest zone.
Another great difference we have to take into account when comparing research results from Switzerland and Norway (where the most advanced studies on the Eurasian lynx were carried out) from one side, and Belarus and a huge, principally similar lynx environment in Russia from the other side, is that in neither Switzerland nor Norway lynxes were investigated, while living in proximity to many wolves. Our quite long-term study on lynxes in Belarus suggests that the presence of this dangerous competitor is one of the most important factors driving lynx behaviour. Prey distribution, human activity and other factors, which were the subject of several studies in other countries, only play a secondary or minor role in Belarus compared to presence of the dense wolf population. Thus, the absence of the wolf as a common species in lynx habitats is one of the main gaps in the knowledge of the ecology of the Eurasian lynx. In Sweden, research on lynx has been carried out in an area only recently and still not completely colonized by wolves after historical extirpation (Wikenros et al., 2010), which makes it still a strikingly unnatural situation in comparison to our study area where wolves have always been common and numerous.
As to studies in the non-mountainous area of the European temperate forest zone, the Polish studies on lynxes in the Polish part of Bielaviezha Forest (Jedrzejewski et al., 1996, Okarma et al., 1997, Schmidt et al., 1997, Schmidt, 1999, Jedrzejewski et al., 2002, Podgorski et al., 2008, Schmidt et al., 2008) were pioneering studies on the Eurasian lynx in a non-mountainous area of the European temperate forest zone. We respect these studies a lot and learned a lot from them. Having this basis, it was easier for us to develop the knowledge about lynxes in Belarus, but at the same time we believe the studies overlooked a variety of questions on the species behaviour and ecology, and many aspects were not studied detailed enough. In fact, our results are so distinctive from the results by our Polish colleagues in the nearby Bielaviezha Forest. That supports our conclusion of 2018 that the Eurasian lynx was still unknown in many questions (Sidorovich et al., 2018).
In Russia, a lot of information on the species was published in big books (Geptner and Sludskii, 1972 ; Matyushkin and Vaisfeld, 2003). However, this information mainly concerns the distribution of the Eurasian lynx in a huge variety of landscapes in a large part of the species range: the former Sovjet Union. Diet of lynxes was analyzed in the books, too. Other aspects on the ecology and behaviour of the Eurasian lynx are covered negligibly in these books. Because Russia is so huge and diverse in environments and the country is so centralized, it’s understandable that the studies were carried out only for those basic questions and these books were written in this way. Therefore, single or even several lynx-specialized researchers in Russia were not able to investigate the ecology and behaviour of wild living lynxes deeply and in details.
In addition, we started wondering how come there still is so much unknown about the Eurasian lynx. There should also be something wrong with the research methodology and philosophy. Nowadays, after studying lynxes in Belarus for a long time, by using all kinds of methods, some other reasons for such knowledge shortage on lynx ecology and behaviour are evident for us.
Firstly, the Eurasian lynx is characterized by an extraordinarily hidden life. Therefore, this species needs a lot of off-road efforts in the wild of the team-leader, who establishes a research design and checks and analyses the data collected by others. Let’s say a lynx study demands a more or less continuous presence of an experienced researcher (not beginner-assistants) in the wild in close proximity to lynxes. Regrettably, the current system in the recent and modern carnivore ecology and ethology forces a team-leader (such an experienced researcher) to be at a computer screen more and more often, where he or she is forced to deal with long applications for the next project, reporting for the ongoing projects and time-consuming publishing of scientific articles with excessive demands of journals. Otherwise, there will be no money for studies anymore. When they waste their time at a computer screen, the amazing life of lynxes remains hidden and unknown.
Secondly, the prevailed method of telemetry evidently does not provide sufficient information on lynx behaviour and ecology. Quite opposite, telemetry as the main method actually brings artefacts (activity patterns, hunting and mating behaviour) in the case of lynx. But it is understandable that in the above-mentioned modern academic system lynx researchers tend to believe that the outputs of telemetry studies are reliable and bring new correct knowledge, because for them, being busy a lot in the office, it is the sole possible basic research method of studying lynxes. Moreover, telemetry is a very suitable research method for zoologists, who got stuck in reporting for foundations, because this method produces a lot of estimates. Actually, many of such estimates bring little new knowledge, but they are useful to produce sophisticated material to report. Moreover, we think that lynx researchers quickly assumed that almost all knowledge about the species was being elucidated by carrying out telemetry, which might have prevented them to use other research approaches that were evidently more time-consuming and labour-intensive.
Alternative approaches with a lot of habitat inspection, tracking on snow cover, reading activity signs in snowless periods and smart camera trapping require huge efforts; it is time-consuming and doesn’t provide sufficient amounts of results within a short time-span to report sufficiently for a project. The crucial thing is that with this alternative way of investigating lynxes, only those researchers who are really familiar with the species’ behaviour, and know their study area in sufficient details, can be successful. But how to get such an experience in the modern academic system, and which foundation will pay for this fairly long reporting-ineffective way of studying lynxes? This way does not match with sitting at a computer in an office, and, in turn, will make it impossible to write enough reports, apply for next projects, take part in numerous conferences etc. to be ‘on board’. So, again we point out the same problem with the on-going system in animal zoology.
To study this secretive animal species fruitfully in the wild, a lot of time-consuming preliminary work is required that does not bring direct results. Working hypotheses should be established not after a random experience, but after special preliminary studies (quite often long and expensive). Such studies, which are usually not well reportable but require a lot of time and money, are often not respected by foundations. The hypotheses raised by researchers without such a hard and long period of preliminary work may be too rough and too far from reality, and that may negatively impact the results, despite of enough financial support.
Another problem is that specialists on carnivore ecology and behaviour turn into molecular biologists more and more, because there are more possibilities to finance studies on carnivores in that branch, whereas studies in the wild on carnivore behaviour and ecology are getting more and more forgotten.
As it was already mentioned above, when we faced with the telemetry-based methodological problems to study on lynx, we decided to renounce telemetry and choose another research approach, based on three main ways of gathering information. Firstly, a lot of habitat inspection, snowtracking and reading of lynx activity signs in the snowless period is necessary to learn how lynxes use the available habitats. Secondly, snowtracking should be question-directed, and specifically designed. Thirdly, we found that smart and intensive camera trapping with individual lynx identification can bring a lot of valuable results. Many lynx researchers apply camera-traps as well, but to be effective it is not enough to have many of them and put them on roads or at random. Only detailed knowledge of habitats and lynx habits may bring interesting new results with camera traps, but city-based and computer screen-sitting researchers or even smart beginners are not able to do that by an effective manner.
For our part, there is another thing that may distract lynx researchers and any other zoologist: too much mathematics in zoological studies. Despite the fact that the first author has a university education in mathematics, we deliberately avoided the use of sophisticated statistics and mathematical modelling and simulation. In some articles by other researchers, it’s hard to find the lynx behind the mathematics, and it seems the lynx itself is of secondary importance. In such publications (we could name them, but will not do that), the basic results may sometimes be pretty simple, despite of the applied comprehensive mathematic methods, for instance: lynxes dislike areas with a lot of human infrastructure and presence of many people. That is evident even for a lynx amateur without doing expensive studies. Moreover, we think that excessive application of mathematic methods in lynx studies and zoology in general are partly connected with the needs for extensive and sophisticated reporting for foundations.
Initially, when I began my studies on mammals, I was aimed to use a lot of statistics and mathematical modelling and simulation. Even being in Oxford, I bought in Blackwell book shop a crazy expensive, but very useful for me books about statistics ‘Biometry’ by Sokal and Rohlf (1995) and ‘Ecological methodology’ by Krebs (1999). That time I would like to use my mathematic education in mammalogy. But after much experience in study on vertebrate predators and their prey, I was getting more and more convinced that a researcher on behaviour and ecology of mammals and birds actually mainly needs merely a calculator for working with databases. The main things for such a researcher are a high-level skills and knowledge in relation to the studying species as well as reliable and veracious methods for working in the wild. May be I am wrong, but my experience and thinking suggest me these.
By applying less statistics and other mathematic ways of proving a hypothesis, I basically used a descriptive style in reporting of our achievements, while investigating of lynxes in Belarus. Quite often to argue a working idea or hypothesis I gave a row of examples confirming that and simultaneously I evidenced an absence of an opposite case or rare occurrence of dissimilar events. I assume that such a descriptive style is proper for mammalogical studies, whereas in a mammalogical text that is full of mathematic things a reader (at least, me) is seemingly losing the subject of study. Also, usage of statistics is a quite hidden way of proving. Getting a doubt in something, a reader cannot actually deepen in the author’s way of proving to reach a clarity how a given inference was substantiated. In this case everything is getting ambiguous. In my descriptive style in most of the cases a reader can easily balance the materials and inferences. However, such a text is much more complicated to follow and fully understand. It should be a thoughtful and repeated reading, especially taking into an account that the main author is not a native English speaker and have never attented any English course.
Coming back to the new findings in our study on the Eurasian lynx, I would like to briefly list them in this introduction:
(1) Patched home range in connection with the prevailing mode of hunting, mainly from ambuscades in certain spots. Such hunting spots are situated in several housing areas within home range. Concerning adult males, in the cold season a patched structure of their home ranges is also connected with needs of regular guarding of thickets that are suitable for mating; and they start guarding such habitats since late autumn;
(2) Complicated mating-related behaviour in lynxes. Quite often winter housing areas of adult males are prey-poor, and that is connected with their priority of guarding of relevant thickets for mating. When a female in heat searches for an adult male with relevant thickets, it is a prevailed way of pairing in mating season. Repeated mating i.e. copulation with two males is not rare in lynxes;
(3) Strikingly distinctive hunting and marking days in adult males. There are two kinds of hunting days in males such as ambush hunting for themselves in housing areas and active (moving-stalking) foraging for mothers with kittens. Main territorial marking is carried out during special marking days, when adult males range outstandingly a lot almost without hunting;
(4) In non-mating seasons adult females (in particular mothers with kittens) mark mainly a few housing areas, where they basically stay;
(5) Adult and subadult lynxes were found surprisingly social even in non-mating seasons. Lynx couple (adult male with subadult or adult female together) and mother with kittens of the year that accepted a subadult are usual phenomenons in social structure of lynxes;
(6) Details (dens, timing, care) of denning in lynxes are considered. An active role (protecting housing area of mother, some foraging) of adult male (possible father) is substantiated;
(7) Prevailed watching-based hunting modes of lynxes with implication for rather high daily food intakes;
(8) Pronounced tree-related habits in lynxes with aims of territorial and mating calls, ambush hunting, avoiding of blood-sucking insects, safe sheltering of kittens;
(9) Population-wide feeding specializations and individual-distinctive diets in connecting with dynamics of prey stock;
(10) Effectivity of hunting by subadults as a population bottleneck;
(11) Adult male lynxes as killers of vulnerable wolves and respective negative effect for the wolf population;
(12) Higher variety of lynx marking (than known up-to-date) in its performance and role as well as reaction of other mammals on lynx marking;
(13) Predominantly forest-dwelling behaviour of lynxes related to wolf presence and a switch to openings, when wolves become rare;
(14) Drastic effect of killing of red foxes and raccoon dogs by lynxes on these victim species populations.