Luchs Lynx lynx (Linné, 1758)


English: Lynx; French: Lynx; Albanian: Lugerbulli; Algonquin: Bijew; Bulgarian: Ris; Chinese: She-Li; Chipewan: Chize; Cree: Pisew; Croatian: Ris; Czech: rys (Ostrovid); Danish: Los; Estonian: Ilves; Dogrip: noda; Finnish: Illves; Greek: Lygas; Hungarian: Hiuz; Hindi: kash patsalam; Iranian: Sia Gush; Italian: Lince pardina; Lahul: phianku; Mongolian: Shiloos; Montenigrin: Ris; Estonian: Ilves; Lett: Lusis; Lithuanian: Lusis; Norwegian: Gaupe; Pashto: Sia Gush; Portuguese: Lince, Lobo cerval; Polish: Rys; Romanian: Ris; Russian: Ris; Serb: ris; Slovakian: Rys (Ostrovid); Spanish: Lince común, Lobo cerval; South Slavey: noda; Swedish: Lo, Lodjur; Tamil: tipettiya kattuppunai; Tibetan: Tiisim; Turkish: Vacak, Ösek; Urdu: patsalam.

Former distribution: In Europe, Asia and North America and Alaska. Not in the UK.
Present distribution: Isolated populations in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Poland, CSSR, Yugoslavia, Greece, Romania, Albania, Portugal, Spain and Italy. Recently introduced into Switzerland, France (Vosges), and in the Bavarian Forest (Bayerischer Wald) FRG East to USSR, throughout the Siberian forest belt to Sakhalin, to northern Mongolia, Heilongjiang (Manchuria) in China; south to the Caucasus, Transcaucasus, Iran, Turkey, northern Iraq, the mountain regions of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir, Xizang (Tibet), Tien Shan, Pamir – Altai, Sichuan (Szechwan in China), and the upper Indus Valley. In North America through Alaska, Canada to Newfoundland, north to the timber line and south to the Great Lakes. In USA to Pennsylvania in the east and through Oregon to Colorado and the Sierra Nevada in the west.
Behaviour: Preferred habitat: high, mixed and decidous forests with dense undergrowth in lowland and rocky regions, also open forest with pines, sand dunes and grasslands: favourite prey includes hares, game birds, rabbits, roe deer, fawns of red deer and fallow deer, and small mammals. Sometimes they will kill sheep and goats; occasionally they will take fish, insects and carrion. Main activity is at twilight, but also both diurnal and nocturnal; often by ambush.
Population status: Rare in Scandinavia, Western Europe, Turkey, Spain and Portugal. Extinct in Bulgaria since 1935; in Hungary 1915; in Austria 1900. Norway: 150-200, increasing; Sweden: 150-200, increasing; Finland: 150-250, increasing; Poland: 350; CSSR: 956, increasing; Romania: 1000-1200; Yugoslavia: 50-70; Albania and Greece: No records, probably rare. Introduced into Switzerland 1975: 15-20; Italy: Gran Paradiso National Park, 1975: no records; Austria: 9,1977; FRG: Bayerischer Wald National Park, 1970: 15; Yugoslavia: 3 (Slovenia); France: Vosges, no records; also probably still present in the western Pyrenees; Spain: 150-200; Portugal: No records; USSR: probably 20-30 000; increasing in the northern distribution areas; decreasing in the southern areas of the USSR.
Brief notes:
Body weight: 18-38 kg
Head and body length: 80-130 cm
Tail length: 11-25 cm
Shoulder height: 60-75 cm
Gestation period: 67-74 days
Maximum age: 18 years
Trophy: Skull record CIC: 28.80 points USSR, n.n.; SCI: 9 8/l6, 1980 W. FLECK, Yu.; 10 12/16, 1972 McELROY, Pakistan. RW’s: 11 5/16,1977 A. ANDRE, USSR.
Hunting methods: With dogs, traps, driven.
Subspecies: 14 (acc. to Leyhausen only 4 subspecies should be recognized. Omitted here due to the CIC trophy evaluation)
1. Lynx l. lynx Scandinavia, Western Europe, European USSR to Siberia. Rare.
2. Lynx l. carpathica The Carpathian mountains in Romania, Poland and CSSR. Stable.
3. Lynx l. dinniki Caucasia, Iran, Turkey. Rare.
4. Lynx l. pardina Spain and Portugal. Rare.
5. Lynx l. sardiniae Sardinia; probably extinct.
6. Lynx l. balcanica Yugoslavia, Albania, Greece. Rare.
7. Lynx l. wardi Altai and Chacassia USSR. Stable.
8. Lynx l. koslovi Southern Siberia to Transbaikalia, northern Mongolia. Stable.
9. Lynx l. stroganovi USSR, Amur Ussuri region and Heilongjiang (Manchuria) in China. Stable.
10. Lynx l. wrangeli USSR, east Siberia, Jakutia to the Stanowoi mountains. Stable.
11. Lynx l. orientalis USSR; Transcaucasia, northern Iran. Rare.
12. Lynx l. isabellina USSR, Turkmeniya; east Afghanistan, North Pakistan, India, Himalaya and Xizang (Tibet). Rare.
13. Lynx l. canadensis North America. Stable.
14. Lynx l. subsolana Newfoundland. Rare.
Remarks: Even if the figures show that Lynx populations are rare in Scandinavia and some East European countries such as Poland, CSSR and Romania, they are nevertheless slowly increasing. This is a result of co-operation between hunters and conservationists. Still endangered are the populations in those West European countries where they have been recently introduced such as Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Yugoslavia, and the Federal Republic of Germany. Their decline is due to loss of habitat by reforestation projects in Spain and Portugal, and by uncontrolled hunting in Turkey and Iran. Lynx populations are stable all over USSR, in China, Mongolia, North America, Alaska and Newfoundland. From Sardinia we have no records about Lynx l. sardiniae. This subspecies is probably extinct. The subspecies (14) differ enormously in weight, size and skull measurements. 33.2 CIC points are recorded scientifically (HEPTNER 1980) from Lynx l. wrangeli, USSR. Followed by the Lynx l. carpathica from USSR and Romania. The smallest form is represented by Lynx l. pardina. The record measurement of the skull being 23.65 CIC points (1970). Body weight and body length are also lower, as with all other, northern and eastern.