Lynx body size in Norway is related to its main prey (roe deer) density, climate, and latitude

Yoram Yom-Tov, Tor Kvam, Øystein Wiig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-51
Number of pages9
JournalAmbio
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2011

Keywords

  • Capreolus capreolus
  • Eurasian lynx
  • Latitude
  • NAO
  • Norway
  • Roe deer

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