THE EURASIAN LYNX IN NORWAY

I'M NOT AN EXPERT

I’m not an expert and have no education in any subject about the Eurasian lynx. When I started my project I have been reading books, reports and other information I could find on the Internet to get a better knowledge about the lynx. The information you can read below is collected mostly from several websites like Wikipedia, NINA (Norsk institutt for naturforskning) and some more. So, if you are an expert and see any information that is not correct, please don’t hesitate to contact me so I can fix it. All images of the lynx are taken by me and are images of wild lynxes.

This is one of my first images of the Eurasian lynx I took with a digital DSLR camera. In the background you can see a white-tailed eagle sitting in a tree.

THE EURASIAN LYNX

The Eurasian lynx is one of four lynx species in the world. There is also the Canada lynx, the Iberian lynx and the bobcat. The Eurasian lynx is the largest of the four species and can be in length from 80 to 130 cm and in standing 60-75 cm at the shoulder. The male lynx is larger then the female and weighs from 18 to 30 kg, while the female weighs from about 8 to 21 kg. Even if the Eurasian lynx is the largest of the four species, the lynxes from Siberia have a larger body mass and can weigh up to 38 kg. Some reports even say up to 45 kg.

 

The Eurasian Lynx is spread over Northern, Central and Eastern Europe to Central Asia, Siberia, the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalayas. In summertime the Eurasian lynx has a relatively short coat, while in wintertime the lynx has a much thicker coat.

There are three different coat variations of the lynx, the so-called wolf lynx, fox lynx and cat lynx. The wolf lynx has two rows with spots over the back, but little or no spots on the body. The fox lynx has just spots on the limbs, while the cat lynx has three rows with spots on the back and in general many spots all over the body.

The lynx appears very often right after the sunset.

THE EURASIAN LYNX IN NORWAY

The information about the Eurasian lynx is mainly collected from the NINA report 1519.

In 2018 there were approximately 57,5 family groups in Norway, which means about 340 lynxes. This number is before the hunting- and reproductive season in 2018 starts. The national management goal for Norway of 65 family groups, which is set by the Norwegian parliament, is still not reached, even if the number of 2018 is an increasing of 4% compared to 2017.

 

Some regions are above the regional management goal, while in Troms, the area where I have my lynx project; the number is under the population size.

The table below is copied from the NINA (Norsk institut for naturforskning) rapport 2018 and shows the number of observations of family groups in the eight regions for the last years back to 2008

Region 1: Sogn og Fjordane, Hordaland, Rogaland and Vest-Agder

Region 2: Aust-Agder, Telemark, Buskerud og Vestfold

Region 3: Oppland

Region 4: Østfold, Oslo and Akershus

Region 5: Hedmark

Region 6: Møre og Romsdal and Trøndelag

Region 7: Nordland

Region 8: Troms og Finnmark

This image is taken by a trail cam. Under the snow lays a dead fox, which attracted the lynx to appear in front of my trail cam. 

HUNT, TERRITORRIES AND DIET

The lynx is the only wild cat in Norway and most likely migrate from the continent during the last ice age; which means the lynx has existed here in Norway for around 9000 years.

In the 1930s the lynx was almost eradicated after a bounty was introduced in 1846. The number of lynxes maintained low until in 1980 the bounty was abolished. In 1992 Norwegian law protected the lynx south of Nord-Trøndelag and Fosen, which lead to an increase of lynxes. Today it is allowed to hunt the lynx at a certain time of the year, but with a hunting quote. There is an own quote on female lynxes and if the number of hunted female lynxes is reached, the hunt has to be canceled.

 

The lynx is a solitary animal, except in the reproduction season and need a lot of space. The male lynx can have a territory from 500-2000 km² and rarely crossed it with another male territory, while the territories of the female can be from 200-1000 km² and several female territories can cross the territory of a male.

The lynx is a very good hunter and most hunting attacks are finished after 20-30 meters. If the lynx chase a prey for more than 100 meters the chance to catch the prey is low.

In the south of Norway the diet of the lynx contains mainly deer, while in the north the lynx eats on reindeer, but also has red foxes, rabbits, rodents, birds etc. on the menu.

The lynx is the predator, which is believed to take most sheep. This result often in conflicts with the farmers, and also with the Sámi people who loose some reindeer to the lynx.