The Lynx In Norway

I’m not an expert on the Eurasian lynx or have any education which allows me to write a scientific article about the lynx. All information and data provided below I have gathered from different articles and websites from the internet, added with my own experience and observations.

Eurasian Lynx 2019_001

The nature in Norway can be spectacular with high snow-covered mountains dropping down into the fjords, a long and rugged coastline and alpine tundra. Many wildlife photographers discovered the beauty of our nature and there is one animal I will say is the holy grail for any Norwegian wildlife photographer. The ghost of our forests, the Eurasian lynx.

 

The lynx is the only wild cat living in Norway and was almost extinct due to no restrictions on the hunt and a bounty issued by the Norwegian government until 1980. Today the lynx is partly protected, and the Norwegian government has set a national population target of 65 family groups each year. Nonetheless, every year they issue a quota to hunt this amazing cat, even if the target of 65 family groups is not reached.

 

Because of the hunt the average age of a wild lynx is around 4-5 years. A wild lynx doesn’t die of old age, but of getting hunted and shot to death. Unfortunately, there are still many people who rather want to extinct our predators than to live side by side with them and respect our beautiful nature.

 

In Southern Norway the territory of a male lynx can be up to 900 km², while in Northern Norway a territory easy can be up to 2000 km². This makes it even harder for me to locate the right places where to photograph the lynx up here in the North.

 

The Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) is the largest of four known lynx species. The other species are the bobcat (Lynx rufus), the Canadian lynx (Lynx canadensis) and the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus).

 

The fur of the Eurasian lynx has a big variation of different brown colors and can have brown and black spots in different seizes. A lynx with three lines of black spots along the back and more spots on the body is known as cat lynx, while a lynx with just a few black spots on the paws we like to call fox lynx. Another type of fur where you find two lines with black spots along the back and almost no spots else on the body, we call it a wolf lynx.

 

The lynx is mainly active at night and used to sleep or rest during the day in steep and inhospitable terrain where it has a good overview over the area and can see if some danger approach. But even if the lynx is mainly nocturnal, I had several times visit of this very shy cat in front of my camera trap at daytime.

 

The Eurasian lynx is an endangered species and walks into an unsure future with legal quota for hunt and illegal hunt. In 2021 we had around 400 wild lynxes in the Norwegian nature. This number is before the quota hunt and will drop most likely down to around 300 after the hunt is finished.

Alfred Lucas

Northern Nature Photography