First breeding record of a 1-year-old female Eurasian lynx
According to the literature, Eurasian lynx start to breed at the age of two. The proportion of 2-year-old lynx females that give birth is generally lower than that of older females, and this proportion varies significantly between lynx populations, which might be an effect of prey availability resulting in different growth rates. In this paper, we describe the first case of a 1-year-old breeding female Eurasian lynx ever recorded in the wild. Although such a case was documented in other lynx species, it has never been found in Eurasian lynx. This case was documented in the Bohemian-Bavarian-Austrian lynx population, which is systematically monitored by camera traps. A young female (Svit), born in 2016 to a female called Jiskra, was repeatedly camera trapped during the 2017 lynx year (1 May 2017–30 April 2018) with its male kitten Stello. Altogether, 31 events with the Svit family group were recorded. The social consequences of this early reproduction are that Svit did not leave her mother’s territory, which would be usual for a subadult young female, but stayed in the area where she was born and which was still inhabited by her mother.
KeywordsEurasian lynx Reproduction 1-year-old female Bohemian-Bavarian-Austrian lynx population Bohemian Forest ecosystem
We thank Rostislav Dvořák for his help in the field. We thank Kirsten Weingarth for help in data analysis. We would also like to thank all other colleagues and private individuals who contributed to the camera trapping work in the field and to data analysis.
This study was supported by the CE1001 3Lynx Project, funded by Interreg Central Europe.
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