Co-author Irina Rotenko
In one of the former posts we have already addressed to the question of usage of road pipes by lynxes. In the given post we provide some further results on the question including respective video-footage, while the former post was illustrated only by photo-registrations.
Lynxes visit road pipes quite often. In the warm season, they mainly use road pipes without running water. In winter, when water is covered with ice, almost all pipes that are large enough are in lynx usage. We tried to investigate this phenomenon and found four different purposes of lynxes to come to a road pipe. First, a road pipe is something visually outstanding in the habitat structure at forest road. Such remarkable spots are marked by carnivores, including lynxes. Snowtracking data suggest that about 88% of visits of road pipes by lynxes (n=324) was, at least, partly for territorial marking. Also, we noticed that in 59% of the registered cases lynxes were walking at the road-forest ecotone, then they entered the road pipes and suddenly (i.e. suddenly for a possible prey) appeared on the opposite side of the road. Once, a lynx killed a roe deer at the opposite side of the road close to the pipe entrance. Another time a raccoon dog was killed by a lynx with such a manner. So, passing road pipe by lynx has also a hunting sense. During rainy weather or wet snow cover lynxes, while entering a road pipe, shake up and sometimes roll to dry the wet fur (32 registrations), and sometimes they rest inside (10 registrations, at least). Three of the ten resting (maybe hunt-watching at the same time) continued for quite long, approximately for 7, 11 and 14 hours. Being inside road pipe, lynxes couched on some substratum inside (sand, dry remains of vegetation).