International Society For Endangered Cats

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Tag Archives: eurasian lynx

Eurasian Lynx Sharing Prey in Slovenia

It’s mating season for Eurasian lynx in northern Dinaric Mountains in Slovenia. Video shows monitoring of lynx prey remains – red deer calf – shared by a pair of lynx (radiocollared female named “Maja” and an unknown male). Lynx are usually solitary, but pair stays together for about a week during mating. They were returning for several days until carcass was completely consumed. To hear lynx calling turn on your speakers. Monitoring was done as part of research at Biotechnical faculty at University of Ljubljana.

Video copyright Miha Krofel


Vets Save Young Eurasian Lynx

Cats In China: Eurasian Lynx

The Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx is widely distributed from the northeast to the northwest and has been reported in the Baimaxueshan Nature Reserve, according to local reserve reports.  Specific distribution sites were confirmed by local field surveys when nature reserves were established.  In northern China the Eurasian lynx is distributed only in the mountainous areas surrounding Daxinganling Mountain.  Distribution areas include the forest in Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces and the northern part of Inner Mongolia in Northeast China.   In the northwest the lynx is seen almost everywhere in Ningxia, Gansu and Qinghai provinces as well as western Inner Mongolia and Tibet.  Lynx are not reported in southern China, indicating that the Eurasian lynx in a palaearctic species adapted to cold weather regions.

Threats and conservation

Two decades ago factors threatening the lynx including shooting, snaring, poisoning and removing cubs from dens.  Since the Wildlife Protection Law was enacted in 1988, hunting activities have been banned.  Strict limits on personal firearm possession since 2000 and associated punishments reduced field hunting sharply.  From 2003 to 2008, 31 lynx pelts, 27 small-bore rifles and 19 home-made Tibetan powder guns were confiscated in Qiantang Nature Reserve in Tibet.

Poaching is presently the main threat to lynx.  Poachers do not intend to snare lynx particularly, but are seeking species of high economic value such as red deer, roe deer, goral, antelope and gazelle.  Snares are left in the open and present a year-round danger to all wild animals.  Some of the nature reserves conduct snare removal efforts.  At Hunchun nature reserve, volunteers collected 308 snares and traps in 6 days during December 2005, during another 4-day search in January 2008 located and confiscated 511 snares and 3 clips.  At Saihanwula Nature Reserve we conducted trap removal efforts during the winters of 2007 and 2008; over 300 snares were collected.  Higher penalties were imposed on 11 poachers; those snaring for hares were fined 2000 Yuan and for deer 5000 Yuan; this is about half a year’s income for local farmers.  These penalties curbed poaching behaviour effectively; the footprints of lynx appeared steadily in the core protected areas during 2008.  But poaching is still the primary problem for nature reserve managers.

Although the national Law of Wildlife Protection was enacted in 1988 and the provincial governments were issued management regulations, law enforcement is always complicated by the personalized network of relationship and connections.  The situation is more difficult in minority communities such as in western Sichuan, Tibet and Xinjiang, where local minorities consider clothes or garment decorations from wild animal pelts to be symbols of cultural tradition and higher social dignity.

Although more and more land is being set aside in nature reserves, the lynx populations within the reserves are being impacted by the fragmentation of habitat due to expansion of human activities in rural areas.  Populations are becoming isolated from one another.  How inbreeding will influence genetic diversity in the long term is an open question.

The Eurasian lynx is listed as a national second class key protected species under strict protection of the Law of Wildlife Protection in China.  Lynx habitat has been enlarged thanks to the implementation of the project of Wildlife Conservation and Nature Reserve Construction.  As of 2008 there were over 2500 different classified reserves n the mainland, additionally, the quality of staff, facilities, and the checking stations are much improved.  Some of the nature reserves have implemented monitoring programs addressing predator-prey relationships and food supply, which have helped ungulate recovery.  These monitoring programs revealed that takin, giant panda and mainland serow increased more than 3% at Changqing nature reserve and the provisioned feeding accelerated the blue sheep population’s recovery.

Source: IUCN Cat News Special Issue Autumn 2010, Author Bao Weidong

Member Photos: Eurasian Lynx

Many of our ISEC Canada members are keen photographers, and include both amateur and professional photogs. We are always happy to showcase wild cat photos on this blog, so if you have any pictures you would like to brag about, please email them to our office at Click on photos to enlarge.

Our wandering member Ben Williams in the United Kingdom has sent us more wild cat photos, this time of a beautiful Eurasian Lynx Lynx lynx, taken at Newquay Zoo, Cornwall, UK.

These are the largest cats in the lynx family. Russia comprises 75% of their range, and they are also found in Scandinavia, China, and temperate climes of Central Asia.  Scattered populations remain in eastern and western Europe.  Eurasian lynx inhabit mainly forest areas with dense cover, cold semi-desert, tundra, open woodland and scrub up to 4700 m in the Himlalayas.

The population of these cats is considered secure, with large areas of their massive range still intact, especially in Russia where the population is estimated at 30,000-35,0000 animals. They are no longer legally hunted for the fur trade, but illegal trade continues throughout parts of their range.

News From The Field: Eurasian Lynx Status In Iran

Wild cats can’t be saved without knowing what they need to survive in their natural habitat. What kind of habitat do they use? What are their activity patterns & social organizations? Without data collected by field biologists, conservation programs can’t be put in place. To further our educational efforts, we are posting regular Monday summaries of a paper written by wild cat field biologists, which briefly outlines their findings.

The Eurasian Lynx Lynx lynx is widely distributed in Asia, but is one of the least-known cats. Despite being the largest small cat in Iran, general information about lynx previously consisted of a few historical records and anecdotal observations from various sources. From 2006-2009 we conducted surveys by means of literature reviews, questionnaires and interviews, and examined museum specimens to determine the species distribution in Iran and document major threats to its persistence. We collected 167 new geographic records mainly from the past three decades, here used to describe the actual and probable distribution of the Euarsain Lynx in Iran. We found confirmed and probable presence in 19 our of 30 provinces and possible presence in an additional 6 provinces, mainly in the south and east. Our results indicate a larger distribution of lynx in Iran than previously published. However, we can at present not assess the development and potential fragmentation of the distribution range and therefore advise judging the species conservation status with caution.

IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group Cat News newsletter

News From The Field: Camera-Trap Photos of Eurasian Lynx in Turkey

Wild cats can’t be saved without knowing what they need to survive in their natural habitat. What kind of habitat do they use? What are their activity patterns & social organizations? Without data collected by field biologists, conservation programs can’t be put in place. To further our educational efforts, we are posting regular Monday summaries of a paper written by wild cat field biologists, which briefly outlines their findings.

Studying cryptic animals requires dedicated field work and careful planning depending on habitat and behaviour of the target animal. However, use of camera traps now provides a non-invasive technique to detect and monitor wildlife, especially nocturnal carnivores; it can also be used to estimate population sizes of animals with special markings or patterns. We have used systematic and opportunistic camera trapping in central and northeastern Turkey, respectively, to inventory local carnivores. Our surveys yielded six Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx photos in Artvin, and eight in Ankara, constituting the first time this species was documented by camera traps in Turkey.

Huseyin Ambarli,Deniz Mengulluoglu, C Can Bilgin

IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group Cat News newsletter

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