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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

George Wuerthner contacted me with information correcting some of the narrow statements that yesterdays CANADIAN GEOGRAPHIC Posting stated about Canadian Lynx preferring regenerating young growth forest over more mature woodlands----In fact, the Lynx requires a matrix of older growth, mid successional growth as well as younger forests to satisfy their complete lifestyle needs of shelter, denning, traveling in safety and hunting...............Logging is not an exact substitute for naturally occurring fires because woody debris is usually not left over after clearcutting whereas fire leaves a mosaic of slash and horizontal "tangle" perfect for Lynx seeking a snowshoe hare meal------Thank you George for your "education" on this topic

From: George Wuerthner []
Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 10:19 AM
To: Meril, Rick
Subject: Lynx


That article on lynx and the assertion that logging is key to success ignores some important research. And I think it represents the narrow linear thinking that is common among management types.

 AT least in the Rockies, there is a definite dependency on old growth forests. The lynx are totally lined up with these forests. What they do is sally forth into younger forests where the snowshoes are found, but their travel corridors, their denning habitat, etc. is all in older forests with a lot of snags, down wood on the ground, etc. So it is misleading to suggest that old growth is not needed--at least in the Rockies, and I suspect as well in the mid west though I don't know that to be true.

Furthermore, this article gives the impression that logging is a substitute for the wildfires that previously created the snowshoe habitat. 

There's a vast difference between logging and fires. The biggest is the loss of biomass with logging. The dead trees in a burnt forest are critical to the long term health of the ecosystem.

Finally logging creates access for trappers, etc. that would not exist. And this creates vulnerability for lynx.

 U.S. Fish & Wildlife
Canada lynxes require early, mid-, and late-successional forests ]. Early and midsuccessional forests are required for hunting snowshoe hares [and late-successional forests are required for denning and raising kittens
 Other habitat preferences for Canada lynxes include proximity of early and midsuccessional forest to mature forest stands at least 2 acres (1 ha) in size, and minimal human disturbance
In Alaska and Canada, boreal forests are preferred by Canada lynxes, and in the Intermountain West, spruce-subalpine fir (Picea spp.-Abies lasiocarpa) and lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) forests are preferred

In the Hudson Bay lowland and the Great Lakes-St Lawrence River ecotones, Canada lynxes prefer deciduous habitat dominated by poplar (Populus spp.), paper birch (Betula papyrifera), alder (Alnus spp.), and willow (Salix spp.). Conifer species associated with winter activity include jack pine (Pinus banksiana) and black spruce (Picea mariana
 In Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Quebec, Canada lynxes are found in spruce (Picea spp.) and fir (Abies spp.) forests. In northeastern North America, Canada lynxes primarily inhabit deciduous forests dominated by maple (Acer spp.) and beech (Fagus spp.)

Canada lynx Lynx canadensis habitat and forest succession in northern Maine, USA
2004, Hoving, C. L.; Harrison, D. J.; Krohn, W. B.; Jakubas, W. J.; McCollough, M. A.
Wildlife Biology, 10: 285 - 294


The contiguous United States population of Canada lynx Lynx canadensis was listed as threatened in 2000. The long-term viability of lynx populations at the southern edge of their geographic range has been hypothesized to be dependent on old growth forests; however, lynx are a specialist predator on snowshoe hare Lepus americanus, a species associated with early-successional forests. To quantify the effects of succession and forest management on landscape-scale (100 km2) patterns of habitat occupancy by lynx, we compared landscape attributes in northern Maine, USA

 Lynx were more likely to occur in landscapes with much regenerating forest, and less likely to occur in landscapes with much recent clearcut, partial harvest and forested wetland. Lynx were not associated positively or negatively with mature coniferous forest.


Federally Listed, Proposed and Candidate Species

Canada Lynx
(Lynx canadensis)

Status: Threatened

Canada Lynx FWS

Canada Lynx Distribution by County
Potential Distribution in Wyoming by County
Click on the counties below for a county species list.
Albany Coutny | Big Horn Coutny | Carbon County | Fremont County | Hot Springs County | Johnson County | Lincoln County | Park Coutny | Sheridan County | Sublette County | Teton County | Washakie County
Species Information
In Wyoming, Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) live in subalpine/coniferous forests of mixed age and structural classes. Mature forests with downed logs and windfalls provide cover for denning sites, escape, and protection from severe weather. Early to mid-successional forests with high stem densities of conifer saplings provide optimal habitat for the lynx's primary prey, the snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus).

  Snowshoe hares reach their highest densities in regenerating forests that provide visual cover from predators and thermal cover. To benefit lynx, habitats should retain an overstory for concealment and forested connectivity between feeding, security, and denning habitats.
Historically, lynx were observed in every mountain range in Wyoming. 

Some timber practices can remove the mature forest that the lynx needs for denning and rearing young. These activities can also disrupt lynx travel patterns, as the cats prefer tree cover. Roads threaten the lynx by fragmenting its habitat, isolating lynx populations, exposing them to predators, and providing competitor species new access to habitat formerly dominated by the lynx. For example, snowmobile traffic creates trails that may allow competitors like coyotes, wolves, and cougars access to lynx winter habitat

Historically, the Canada lynx ranged from Alaska across Canada and into many of the northern U.S. states. In eastern states, it lived in a transition zone in which boreal coniferous forests yielded to deciduous forests. In the West, it preferred subalpine coniferous forests of mixed age. It would den and seek protection from severe weather in mature forests with downed logs but hunt for its primary prey, the snowshoe hare, in young forests with more open space.

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