Filling Data Gaps of the Lynx Research in Ukraine

Project News

Sys­tem­at­ic cam­era trap sur­veys are done all over Europe for lynx, but these have not been done every­where, leav­ing gaps in our knowl­edge. In Ukraine, some attempts have been made to cal­cu­late lynx den­si­ties, but these meth­ods often lack strong sta­tis­ti­cal sup­port.

Researchers of the Frank­furt Zoo­log­i­cal Soci­ety con­duct­ed the first spa­tial­ly-explic­it cap­ture-recap­ture of lynx using cam­era traps. Near­ly 3 years of work, 100s of cam­era traps, 100,000s of cam­era trap pho­tos, and dozens of spe­cial­ists were need­ed to make this hap­pen.

This type of mon­i­tor­ing is pos­si­ble because lynx have unique, indi­vid­ual coat pat­terns (like a human fin­ger­print). The results showed that lynx den­si­ty in Ukraine and Belarus was low but quite sim­i­lar to oth­er areas in Europe, which still shows the impor­tance of these areas for lynx. In the Carpathi­ans, this is espe­cial­ly impor­tant, because the Ukrain­ian Carpathi­ans con­nect the lynx pop­u­la­tions in Roma­nia to Poland and Slo­va­kia.

The analy­sis and results of the research will help the IUCN (Inter­na­tion­al Union for Con­ser­va­tion of Nature), which com­piles the glob­al “Red List”, that reports the over­all sta­tus of lynx con­ser­va­tion in Europe.

Picture of a lynx in a snowy forest
A lynx captured by a camera trap



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