Spatial and social stability of a Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx population: an assessment of 10 years of observation in the Jura Mountains
Christine Breitenmoser-Würsten, Fridolin Zimmermann, Philippe Stahl, Jean-Michel Vandel, Anja Molinari-Jobin, Paolo Molinari, Simon Capt & Urs Breitenmoser
Breitenmoser-Würsten, C., Zimmermann, F., Stahl, P., Vandel, J-M., Molinari-Jobin, A., Molinari, P., Capt, S. & Breitenmoser, U. 2007: Spatial and social stability of a Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx population: an assessment of 10 years of observation in the Jura Mountains. - Wildl. Biol. 13: 365-380.
A total of 18 Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx were radio-tagged between March 1988 and June 1998 in the Swiss Jura Mountains, and during 1995-1997 eight animals were radio-tagged on the French side of the mountain chain. Adult males occupied larger long-term home ranges than adult females (283 km2 vs 185 km2). Neighbouring males shared 7.3% of their home ranges and females 0.2%. The mean distance between males and females living in the same area for fixes taken the same day was 10.94 ± 8.61 km, underlining the solitary character of the species. Consecutive individual annual home ranges overlapped 71.7 ± 7.3% for females and 77.5 ± 7.9% for males, indicating high spatial stability over time. In the Swiss study area, two adult animals were followed for seven and nine years, respectively, and another two lynx were observed in the study area for nine years. Range size did not vary across three distinct periods, P1-P3, but the sex ratio did. Generally, males covered the ranges of 1-2 females, but during the second period, P2, the range of a single male overlapped with those of six females. Dead females were all immediately replaced, but dead males were not. Two poached males were only replaced after three and five years, respectively. Population density, ranging within 0.7-0.8 adult resident lynx/100 km2, did not vary significantly over time in Switzerland. Including kittens and subadults, the density was 1.1-1.6 lynx/100 km2. Our study in the Jura Mountains indicated that there is long-term stability in the social and spatial structure of the lynx population, but this stability was temporarily disturbed by the lack of adult resident males.
Key words: home range, long-term observation, Lynx lynx, social dynamics, spatial structure
Christine Breitenmoser-Würsten, Fridolin Zimmermann, Anja Molinari-Jobin, Paolo Molinari & Simon Capt, KORA, Thunstrasse 31, CH-3074 Muri b. Bern, Switzerland - e-mail addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org (Christine Breitenmoser-Würsten); email@example.com (Anja Molinari-Jobin); firstname.lastname@example.org (Paolo Molinari), email@example.com (Simon Capt)
Jean-Michel Vandel & Philippe Stahl, Office National de la Chasse et de la Faune Sauvage, Monfort, F-01330 Birieux, France - e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jean-Michel Vandel); email@example.com (Philippe Stahl)
Urs Breitenmoser, Institute of Veterinary Virology, University of Berne, Laenggass-Str. 122, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland - e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Corresponding author: Christine Breitenmoser-Würsten
Received 12 August 2004, accepted 3 April 2007
Associate Editor: Henrik Andrén