Acta Theriologica

, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 521-527

First online:

Winter diets of wolfCanis lupus and lynxLynx lynx in Estonia and Latvia

  • Harri ValdmannAffiliated withDepartment of Integrative Zoology, University of Tartu
  • , Zanete Andersone-LilleyAffiliated withState Forestry Research Institute “Silava”
  • , Ott KoppaAffiliated withDepartment of Integrative Zoology, University of Tartu
  • , Janis OzolinsAffiliated withState Forest Service
  • , Guna BagradeAffiliated withLatvian Museum of Natural History

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Winter diets of wolfCanis lupus Linnaeus, 1758 and lynxLynx lynx Linnaeus, 1758 in Latvia and Estonia were investigated in 1997–2000 based on stomach contents of hunted animals and scats. Ungulates appeared to be the staple food for both predators. Lynx diet to a high extent consisted of cervids (Estonia 52% frequency of prey, Latvia 88%), roe deer dominating. Mountain hareLepus timidus made up from 9% (Latvia) to 31% (Estonia) of the lynx diet, and red foxVulpes vulpes 7% in Estonian sample. Wolf diet was more diverse; besides cervids (44% in Latvia, 63% in Estonia) it included wild boar Sus scrofa (32% in Latvia, 17% in Estonia), carrion, small rodents, and other food items. Proportion of empty stomachs was high both in wolves (37%) and lynxes (35%) in Latvia. Range of stomach content weights varied from zero to more than 4 kg in wolves and almost 1.5 kg in lynx. Pianka’s indices of food niche overlapped significantly between species and countries (0.85–0.99).

Key words

Canis lupus Lynx lynx stomach content Latvia Estonia cervids wild boar