Over the past several decades, the Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) has lost approximately 40% of its historic range throughout North America. Possible causes of this range contraction include climate change, habitat loss and/or fragmentation, changes in forest management practices, and competition with other predators, especially the closely-related bobcat (Lynx rufus). Concurrent with the lynx range contraction, the bobcat’s range has been expanding northward into areas formerly and currently occupied by lynx.
My research aims to address habitat selection by Canada lynx and bobcats in an area of range overlap in northeastern Ontario. Through snow-tracking and the use of GPS collars, I am investigating the land-cover types, snow conditions, and prey species that the two species select at a fine scale. Understanding the resource use of these two species is important for predicting future range limit changes and for informing conservation and management of the Canada lynx, a species that is threatened in the contiguous US and is a valuable natural resource.
Adult male lynx (March 2017) Adult male bobcat (November 2017)
Canada lynx tracks (March 2017) Bobcat tracks (Feb 2017)