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Eurasian lynx fitness shows little variation across Scandinavian human-dominated landscapes
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden.
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Number of Authors: 62019 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 9, article id 8903Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Despite extensive research on the ecology and behavioural adaptations of large carnivores in human-dominated landscapes, information about the fitness consequences of sharing landscapes is still limited. We assessed the variation in three consecutive components of female fitness: the probability of reproduction, litter size and juvenile survival in relation to environmental and human factors in a solitary carnivore, the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), occurring in human-dominated landscapes in Scandinavia. We used demographic data from 57 radio-collared adult females between 1995-2011 (126 radio-years). Overall, the yearly probability of female reproduction was 0.80, mean litter size was 2.34 (range 1-4) and the probability to find a female that reproduced in the spring being accompanied by at least one offspring during the subsequent winter was 0.70. We did not find evidence that food availability was a key factor influencing female fitness. Female lynx may adapt to food availability when establishing their home ranges by adopting an obstinate strategy, ensuring a minimum amount of prey necessary for survival and reproduction even during periods of prey scarcity. In human-dominated landscapes, where sufficient prey are available for lynx, mortality risk may have a larger influence on lynx population dynamics compared to food availability. Our results suggest that lynx population dynamics in human-dominated landscapes may be mainly driven by human impacts on survival.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 9, article id 8903
National Category
Biological Sciences
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-171116DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-45569-2ISI: 000472136900077PubMedID: 31222101OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-171116DiVA, id: diva2:1343565
Available from: 2019-08-17 Created: 2019-08-17 Last updated: 2019-08-17Bibliographically approved

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