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In-situ feeding as a new management tool to conserve orphaned Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx)

Citation

Premier, Joseph; Gahbauer, Martin; Leibl, Franz; Heurich, Marco (2022), In-situ feeding as a new management tool to conserve orphaned Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.z08kprrbq

Abstract

High human-caused mortality due to wildlife-vehicle-collisions and illegal killing leads to frequent cases of orphaned Eurasian lynx juveniles. Under natural conditions, this would result in starvation of the young. To avoid this, wildlife managers conventionally rear animals in captivity and release them later. However, this measure is an undesirable outcome for species conservation, managers and animals alike. Increased awareness of Eurasian lynx orphaned by human-caused mortality means managers must often intervene in endangered populations. In this study we report for the first time a successful case of in-situ feeding designed to avoid captivity of two orphaned Eurasian lynx. We exposed 13 roe deer and 7 red deer carcasses in the field to successfully support two orphans to the age of independence and confirm dispersal from the natal range. We present this management approach as a feasible and complimentary tool that can be considered in small or isolated large carnivore populations where every individual counts towards population viability.

Methods

Species occurence at carrion provisioning sites in the Bavarian Forest National Park collected via camera trapping. Including carcass deployment (date, location), daily occurence of Eurasian lynx (in particular orphans) at carcasses, scavenger occurence at carcasses summarised per location, and broader scale occurence of Eurasian lynx documented by continuous camera trap monitoring.

Usage Notes

See ReadMe file.

Funding

Bundesministerium für Verkehr und Digitale Infrastruktur, Award: mFUND “Dynamic wildlife-vehicle-collision warning using heterogeneous traffic, accident and environmental data as well as big data approaches”.