Scientists change their opinion about the lynx.  These are not the lords of the forests

The Eurasian lynx is the largest representative of the cat family in Poland. Its natural inhabitants live in the Carpathian Mountains and larger forest complexes east of the Vistula. Analyzes of Eurasian lynx habitat preferences suggested the relationship of these predators to large and poorly fragmented forest complexes. Hence, during the lynx inventory, the focus was on the vast forests, ignoring the smaller forest complexes.

In 2021, scientists from the Faculty of Biology of the University of Warsaw searched for traces of the presence of lynxes in the forests of Masuria. The research was carried out between lakes uknajno, niardwy, Orzysz and Szymoneckie, where the area of ​​\u200b\u200bthe local forest complexes is less than 50 square kilometers. During the ice cap period, scientists carried out tracks with a total length of 607 km, and set up 5 photo traps, operating for a total of 577 days. The results of the research were presented in an article in the journal “Przegląd Przyrodniczy”.

During the research, 33 traces of lynx presence were recorded – 28 tracks, 1 excrement and 4 camera trap recordings – according to the research authors. The lynx is found in the forest complex to the east of lake uknajno with an area of ​​approximately 14 km2 and in the forests between lakes Buwełno, Ublik Mały and Orzysz with an area of ​​approximately 48 km2. – We were certainly dealing with at least two people, which is indicated by the significant differences in the size of the fingerprints found – says the lead author of the article, Dr. Cornelius Couric of the Masurian Center for Biodiversity and Education “KUMAK”, part of the Faculty of Biology of the University of Warsaw.

The research results suggest that lynx monitoring cannot be limited to extensive forest complexes, but should also cover forests with smaller areas — says the publication’s co-author, Dr. Robert Mysłajek from the Department of Environment at the University of Warsaw. – Thanks to this, it will be possible to obtain a more complete picture of the distribution and abundance of species, and, accordingly, to better plan activities for their protection.

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