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Den use and activity patterns in female Canada lynx (Lynx Canadensis) in the northern Rocky Mountains

Posted date: October 01, 2013
Publication Year: 
Authors: Olson, Lucretia E.; Squires, John R.; DeCesare, Nicholas J.; Kolbe, Jay A.
Publication Series: 
Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Source: Northwest Science. 85(3): 455-462.


Knowledge of female behavior while rearing young can have important implications for species conservation. We located dens and analyzed activity (defined as movement between consecutive GPS locations) for nine female lynx with kittens in the northcentral Rocky Mountains in 2005 and 2007. We used GPS tracking collars to quantify the percentage of time a female spent active and her daily distance traveled for each of three reproductive stages, classified as predenning, denning, and postdenning. We also described the use and placement of maternal dens for these females. Female lynx in our study used one to six dens per breeding season, and increased both frequency of den relocation and distance between dens as kittens matured. Females typically left the den twice a day, and were gone for an average of five hours at a time. Females were active for 56% of a given 24 hour period during predenning, 48% during denning, and 61% during postdenning. Females traveled greater distances in 24 hours during predenning than denning. We conclude that reproductive female lynx alter the amount of time they spend active and daily distance traveled based on reproductive status.


Olson, Lucretia E.; Squires, John R.; DeCesare, Nicholas J.; Kolbe, Jay A. 2011. Den use and activity patterns in female Canada lynx (Lynx Canadensis) in the northern Rocky Mountains. Northwest Science. 85(3): 455-462.
National Strategic Program Areas: 
Wildlife and Fish