This scientific book gives the results of the long-term studies on the Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx in Belarus, mainly in Naliboki Forest and Paazierre Forest. Population structure, breeding, diet and prey supply as well as the variety of behavioural traits were considered. Among behavioural questions there were investigated sociality, hunting modes, mating and denning behaviour, territorial marking, sheltering and interspecific interference. The monograph presents not only the regional aspects of lynx biology, but also includes many new findings for the Eurasian lynx overall.
Among the new findings in our study on the Eurasian lynx, I would like to briefly list them:
(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 phenomenon 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 in connection 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.
The monograph was reviewed by Prof. dr habil. Krzysztof Schmidt from Mammal Research Institute, Polish academy of Sciences, Białowieża, Poland.