, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 43–51 | Cite as

Lynx Body Size in Norway is Related to its Main Prey (Roe Deer) Density, Climate, and Latitude

  • Yoram Yom-TovEmail author
  • Tor Kvam
  • Øystein Wiig


We studied the effect of various factors on body size variation of the Eurasian lynx in Norway, using data from 374 lynx collected between 1960 and 1976 and whose locality of capture, year of birth, sex, and age were known. Body size of lynx in Norway was mainly affected by sex and age. Female skull size (and by implication body size) was also positively affected by the availability of its main prey (roe deer) and by latitude, and negatively by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Male size was not affected by any of the environmental factors examined. We interpret the effects of NAO and latitude on body size through their effect on the local climate and particularly snow conditions. We suggest that females are more sensitive to environmental factors than males.


Eurasian lynx Norway Roe deer Capreolus capreolus NAO Latitude 



This study would not have been possible without the hunters who provided the lynx carcasses. We are grateful to Eli Geffen for statistical advice and to Naomi Paz for editing the manuscript. The North Atlantic Oscillation data were provided by the Climate Research Unit database at the University of East Anglia.


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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ZoologyTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  2. 2.Nord-Trøndelag University CollegeSteinkjerNorway
  3. 3.National Center for Biosystematics, Natural History MuseumUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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