lundi 30 janvier 2012

Role of the County Administrative in the regulation of the lynx population

      Article written following the meeting with Johan Månsson of County administrative of Uppsala

Data :  
      Minimum level of lynx at Uppsala county: 23 lynxes
      National minimum level: 137 to 250 unit of family

  • Situation at Uppsala

How many lynx do you have in Uppsala län? What’s the density?

            There are between 24 and 30 lynxes shared with the other counties around, it means about 6 or 8 family groups.
Lynx are where the games are and there are a lot of hares and roe deers in the region of Uppland. Lynx have obviously a great impact on roe deer population in the area, it’s why they must regulate the population of lynx.

Photo source : interstices

How are their territories?

            Currently the territory of the lynx is about 20-30km2 for female and 40-50km2 for male. The territories often overlap each other when this is a mother and her daughter. The lynx can tolerate her daughters but not other lynx. It's rare that male territories overlap. Example :

 Photo source : KORA
Red : female's territory
Blue : male's territory

  • Role of the County Administrative

            The main roles of the County Administrative are to:
 - list the lynx of the County
 - decide the quota of the lynx for the year in its County
            CA estimates the population by listing family groups (i.e. the mother lynx with her kittens) because it’s easier and you can deduce the lynx population after with a good approximation. Indeed, a study conducted by Grimsö Wildlife Research Center shows that the number of lynx can be known by multiplying the number of family group by 5,5:

Nbr of lynx ≈ Nbr of family group x 5,5

How can we list the number of family groups?

        The listing is made by tracking. It’s necessary to have a period of 2 months of snow at least to track them. They do the track since the first snow fall (2010 in October, 2011 in December) until the last day of February (the hunting starts 1st of March and last all the month). Sometimes they have to follow the footsteps during 3km to determine if they belong to a family group or a single animalkittens walk consistently in the footsteps of their mother, suggesting that this is only a single animal. You need to find a place where the tracks split up at last.

        The team consists of 6 people trained and educated : they have to have the similar level of knowledge.

 Photo source : Singo

            Sometimes they organize a big operation to separate family groups to each other with a special method to know if there two or only one family.

They have to wait two days after the snow stop fallen and it needs about 300 people to look for tracks. When someone find a track, they call the central person who collect the track. They follow the track in reverse to find the place where the snow stopped fallen, in this way they can put a time repair on the track.

And if you can find another track which was printed at the same moment in another place, you can prove that they are two different family groups.

            Track make you asking many questions, after a lot of experience you are quite able to know how the lynx behave, to think like him.

            Then the County Administrative has to send a report with all these tracking dates to EPA which collect all of them in a data base so that they can know the current state of the situation of the lynx.

Do you have all the responsibilities concerning large predators?

            Concerning the survey of large predators, the County Administrative has held all the responsibilities for 10 years. Lately in 2010, County Administrative had also the responsibility of the hunting management but EPA still decides the quota, based on the current lynx population dynamics, for an area which can regroup 10 counties (for example 35 lynx). Before, EPA decided for each county.

We can consider three big area in Sweden:
North: lynx is always hunted to prevent damage on reindeers
Middle:  lynx is regulated
South: No hunt


            The counties concerned organise a meeting and split the number between themselves, depending on the data of the last two years.
They split the number thanks to an excel program. It’s a scientific and reliable method.
Eliminate 100 lynx in a population of 1500 lynx is not a problem for its development; Grimsö Wildlife Research Center showed it.

Why the hunt of the lynx is allowed in Sweden?

            His status is the same than in all the other countries of European Union which signed the Berne Convention (REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION on the implementation of the Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of naturalhabitats and of wild fauna and flora,article 12 to 16)

            Sweden has exemption in this Convention which allowed the lynx hunting:

 “Bear and lynx are protected, apart from controlled hunting. Both are classified as vulnerable. The bear and lynx populations are steadily increasing despite hunting. Currently there are 1,000-1,300 bears and 1,000-1,500 lynx […] As mentioned earlier, derogations from the protection regulations have been granted for some species (beaver, wolverine, bear and lynx) in order to prevent damage.”

Who is allowed to hunt a lynx? What’s the numbers of hunters in Sweden?

If you get the licence, you are allowed to hunt lynx.
There are about 350 000 hunters organized in Sweden (they are 9 088 728 hab. in Sweden)

  • Damages

            Do farmers can shoot a lynx to defend his livestock or himself?

       Farmers can shout a lynx to protect their herd or himself, but it’s a different case than the hunt, it’s a case of self defence but it’s really rare that a lynx attack a herd and a lynx never attack humans.
      They are not allowed to settle traps to catch them because it can provoke hurts on the animal, it’s valid for all animals.

            Do farmers receive compensations if a lynx attacks their livestock?

            There are a lot of sheep farm in Uppland but attacks are really rare because lynx find preys they need.

            This is the County administrative which is in charge to pay compensations. They don’t compensate the stress of the herd: most of time it’s impossible to link the attack of a predator with the stress, there are too many factors. They compensate the animals which are killed or hurt. It could be about 2500Kr (about 275€) for example for a sheep female. It can be more if the race of the sheep is rare and less if this is a young one. They compensate the animal or the veterinary intervention also for hunter dogs which could be attacked.


            They give as well the money the farmer needs to set up the electric fences. It has to set up in a very special way and it could be used for 20 years.
Some farmers use these electric fence (with very strong electricity) but it’s more effective on the wolf and on the bears than on the lynx: lynx are able to jump over the fence very easily. It solves the situation very fast and it’s very effective but on wolves and bears.

A protection dog is used sometimes. There are two in Uppsala län but it’s to prevent wolf attack, not lynx attack.

Two types of electric fences:

 Lynx are able to jump over the fence very easily :

Source photo : KORA

Who’s in charge to check the sheep and confirm that this is a lynx attack or not?

            Trained personal go to the farm. It’s up to the County administrative to check the body and come to a conclusion. Farmers have to call C.A. if they want to receive compensations.

Which kind of damage do you see when there is a case of lynx attack on livestock?

        Often this is an individual problem because most of lynx don’t attack sheep herd, they are too shy. There was a case of a farmer who had livestock of deers with high fence, it was for hunting and for meat (60 or 70 deer in an area of 10km² approximately).
       CA gave him 4 permissions to eliminate the lynx in one year but the problem persisted. CA decided to do the work for him and organized hunting.

  • Conclusion
            The case of Sweden can sound paradoxical in a context where the lynx is protected specie but the hunt they practise is based on scientific method and seriously regulated and monitored.
            The goal of this hunt is to prevent damage on agriculture but also to preserve the lynx population in a level that can permit to them to survive in a long term and, in the same time preserve their preys with a high number, like deer and reindeer.
             In addition, the census period of 2010-2011 showed that the population increased significantly. Currently, the population of lynx in Sweden is about 1 500 individuals.

mardi 24 janvier 2012

Photos of Swiss lynx

Several photos taken in the Swiss Alps in last december by KORA!

Website : Le Temps

lundi 23 janvier 2012

The Spain's last lynx

A documentary by National Geographic about the Iberian lynx in Spain :

lundi 16 janvier 2012

Sami people, reindeer herding and the lynx

    The land of the Sami people is Sápmi. This land area stretches through four countries, Sweden, Norway,Finland and Russia. The Sami have lived in this area through out the history, before it got invaded and colonised. Originally the Sami traditional settle area was larger, but gradually this area has been limited…

    Today, about 70 000 Sami people live in Scandinavia:
    - Approximately 40 000 lives in Norway
    - Approximately20 000 lives in Sweden
    - Approximately 6 000 lives in Finland
    - Approximately 2 000 lives in Russia

    These indigenous people of Scandinavia have their own culture, language, customs and traditions that are different from those of the society around us.

    The Siida community – an organized hunting- and gathering society

    In the age when the Sami still lived unaffected of the Nordic states, they were organized in local systems, the Siida. The Siida controlled a certain area, which no other Siida could use. The Siida was an effective hunting team and consisted of about ten families that together used the land and the water. Within the Siida the hunting grounds and the fishing waters were divided according to need. They made seasonal migrations after a determined pattern to use what nature offered.
    The main food was meat from wild reindeer, other wild animals and fish. Berries and vegetables were also a part of the food.


    A common way of hunting was the use of snares. In the beginning the snares were made of sinews and twined horsehair, hemp and linen thread. Later on brass- and copper thread were used. The animals trapped were wild reindeer, moose, bear and capercailzie, black grouse and ptarmigan.


    Already at an early age ambient people began trading with the Sami. Important merchandise’s were furs from, for example, squirrel, marten, fox, wolverine,lynx, bear and reindeer.

    Capercailzie,black grouse and hazel hen were also common merchandise. Gradually the Nordic states began to collect taxes from the Sami people and furs were often used as payment.


    In the 17th century the wild reindeer herds decreased, at the same time as the Nordic states introduced a new tax system. This change meant that the Sami had to find new ways of supporting themselves to satisfy the states new tax system. The new system meant that the need of reindeer increased because the most of the taxes were paid with the reindeer’s meat and furs. The Sami population had also grown during this period, which meant that they could no longer cope on only fishing and hunting. At this time the Sami people increased their herds of tamed reindeer, which led to the ending of the hunting community. The reindeer herding gradually becomes the main live hood for a big part of the Sami population.

    The reindeer in the centre

    When the reindeer herding develops into an important live hood, the reindeer come to have a huge impact on the Sami people’s way of life. For the reindeer herders, the reindeer permeated everything, their way of living, the culture and the wild nature. The reindeer was the reindeer herder’s live hood and what his life was adapted after. They followed the reindeer’s annual migrations between their different grazing lands. It was on the reindeer’s condition.

    Calf marking

    When the reindeer herds became bigger they had to start marking their reindeer to discern to whom the reindeer belonged. To distinguish who owns a reindeer, the calves are marked in the ears with a combination of cuts. One of the cut off peaces was saved to keep track on how many reindeer calves they had marked. A reindeer mark is personal and is inherited within the family. The reindeer calf follows its mother and that make it possible to decide who owns the calf.


    Spring camp – Calving

    During May they were in the spring camp (often the same as the autumn camp), which was situated in the higher regions of the birch forest. They stayed here for about 1 ½- 2 months. During this time the reindeer calved and the calves got a chance to grow stronger before the summer migration began.

    Summer migration

    In the second half of June the summer migration took place. They moved west towards the high mountain regions, to mountain sides at the fjords or out on the islands.
    In the summer camp they stayed for about two months. The tent was put up on a level alpine health. If their dwelling laid by a lake they often had a boat and nets for fishing.

    © Jason Roberts/Jason Roberts Productions

    Autumn migration

    In the end of august the migration to autumn camp began. The reindeer carried the baggage on their backs.
    In September they came to the autumn camp and stayed for about 2 months. Some of the reindeer bulls were castrated and then tamed to pull sleds. The slaughter also began before the rutting season in the end of September. If they don’t, the bulls meat got a bad taste and was not edible.

    Copyright © (C) Bryan and Cherry Alexander Photography

    Reindeer round-up

    DuringOctober, the reindeer which roamed relatively freely in September are grouped according to families separated by the lasso.

    Winter migration

    It usually took place in November. They moved to the wood lands. The men moved with the reindeer herd and the dogs were a big help to keep the herd together. After the herd, often led by the women came a trail of reindeer with sleds.

    In Decemberthey arrived at the winter grazing lands that often were situated in the coniferous woodlands. During the winter they kept the herd together and moved it between different grazing areas.

    Winter camp

    They stayed in the winter grazing grounds until middle of April. If the grazing was good they could busy themselves with other chores as making things as sleds, ski etc. The women made handicraft.

    Spring migration

    It started in middle of April. They then moved to the spring camp. It went relatively quick. It was necessary to arrive to the spring camp before the calving season began. They often moved in the night when the snow was hard because in daytime the thaw made the journey hard.

    The reindeer’s food and habitat

    The reindeer graze different kinds of lichensand about 250 species of plants. The winter food (lichen) is poorly nutritional and is not satisfying the reindeer’s need of energy. Therefore, in summer/autumn the reindeer build up a strong fat reserve to survive the winter.

    Male reindeer can reach a weight of 100-150 kg
    Doe reindeer has a weight of 60-90 kg

    In Sweden we have mountain reindeer and forest reindeer. The mountain reindeer dwells in the mountains during the summer season and in the woodlands during the winter season. The forest reindeer stays in the woodlands all around the year. In Scandinavia all reindeer are semi domesticated (partly tamed) are herded both in the mountain and the forest region.


    The Sami village of today

    Today old and new technologies are used side by side. A good example is that herding dogs and lassos still are used regularly together with four-wheel drives and snowmobiles. The technological development constantly leads to changes in the reindeer herding of today. The sled dogs are still a very quick (and ecological) to move.

    Sleddogs by Kiruna © Landeline Valory

    Currently, the reindeer herding operated in Sami villages. A Sami village is a geographic area and economical cooperation. In this area the members of the Sami village have the right to work with their reindeer and to hunt and fish.

    Sweden has 51 Sami villages, which are divided into mountain, forest and concession sami villages. The mountain Sami villages move with their reindeer, between the mountains in the summer and the coniferous woodlands in the winter.

    - There are just over 4500 reindeer owners in Sweden
    - There are about 230 000 reindeer in Sweden
    - The reindeer herding area comprise about 40% of Sweden’s area

    Constant migration

    In all Sami village areas the reindeer stroll and are moved between the different grazing lands. The grazing areas have different characteristics of various importances for the reindeer depending on the time of the year. To move between the different areas the Sami use special walking and moving trails that often are very old.
    During certain periods of the year the reindeer herders use different corrals for gathering, roundup, mark and/or slaughter the reindeer.

    © Jason Roberts/Jason Roberts Productions

    A business controlled by wild nature

    The reindeer herding is probably the only nomadic form of animal tending that still exist in Europe.It is a business that is affected strongly by natural conditions as weather, temperature, wind, snow – and ice conditions, etc. It makes no year alike.

    In Sweden there are five large predators : lynx, wolverine, wolf, bear and kings eagle. All of them except from the wolf have their main spreading within the reindeer herding area. With that, these predators constitute a danger for the reindeer and can affect the yield of the herder.

    Therefore we must find a way to reduce lynx attacks on reindeer herd while respecting this feline whose specie is classified as "endangered."

    In February I will met a Sami herder to bring me his vision concerning the lynx.To be continued!

    Reindeer at Jukkasjärvi © Landeline Valory

    Publication of the Proceedings of Symposium 2008 Orléans

          The Proceedings of Symposium 2008 which took place at the Natural History Museum of Orléans (FRANCE) are publicated at least! :)
    [Thanks to Jacques Baillon and Actu'Lynx for this information]
    Here this the link to order a version of this document rich in information:

    "Lynx...Le grand retour?" Lynx...the great return?

          This symposium was the brainchild of a group of passionate individuals and organizations whith the following composition :

    1) Organisation of the symposium

    - Organizing Committee :
    Philippe Guillet (Muséum d’Orléans)
    Marie-Paule Lagasquie (Loiret Nature Environnement)
    René Rosoux (Muséum d’Orléans)
    Didier Papet (Loiret Nature Environnement)
    Jacques Baillon (Loiret Nature Environnement)
    Pascale Rossler (Loiret Nature Environnement)
    Annie Moreau (FERUS)
    Farid Benhammou (RGTE-ENGREF)

    Scientific coordination:
    René Rosoux (Muséum d’Orléans)

    2) Publication of the proceedings (by the National Natural History Muséum)

    - Writing et translations :
    Anne Saint Girons
    Marie-des-Neiges de Bellefroid
    René Rosoux

    Reading Committee :
    Jacques Baillon (Loiret Nature Environnement)
    Roland Libois (Université de Liège)
    Marie-des-Neiges de Bellefroid (Loiret Nature Environnement)
    Éric Marboutin (ONCFS)
    Farid Benhammou (RGTE-ENGREF)
    René Rosoux (Muséum d’Orléans)
    Philippe Guillet (Muséum d’Orléans)
    Gilbert Simon (WWF/FERUS)

    Foreword : Philippe Guillet
    Preface : Eladio Fernandez Galiano
    Introduction : Jacques Trouvilliez

         Distribution map of the northern lynx and the Iberian lynx in Europe (situation 2010) : Patrick Haffner
    Origin and evolution of the genus Lynx : Agnès Testu
    The lynx in France : contribution archaeological and historical data : Cécile Callou
    The role of France in the return of the lynx in Europe : Gilbert Simon
    The lynx population in France : Éric Marboutin, Christophe Duchamp, Pierre-Emmanuel Briaudet, Perrine Moris, François Léger, Yannick Léonard, Alain Laurent, Jérôme Boyer, Michel Catusse et Pierre Migot
    The discrete progression of the lynx in France, current balance : Mathieu Krammer
    Observation of the lynx in the wild in the Jura Mountains, providing a naturalist work : Loïc Coat

         Ecology and management of lynx in Switzerland : Andreas Ryser et Urs Breitenmoser
         The Iberian lynx in critical danger of extinction : Miguel Delibes de Castro
         The lynx in Slovenia : statut et écologie : Miha Kröfel
        Analysis of potential home of Boreal Lynx (Lynx lynx) in the eastern province of Liege (Belgium) : Violaine Thiry, Vinciane Schockert, Roland Libois, Yves Cornet et Samuel van der Linden
         Fear of lynx… or scare with the lynx? The return of the lynx in the french Jura : Pierre Athanaze
         Live with the lynx or how to accept the wild : Jean-Claude Génot
         Conservation strategy of the Iberian Lynx in Andalousia: Miguel Anguel Simon, Rafael Cadenas, José-Maria Gil-Sanchez, Marcos Lopes Parra, Leonardo Fernandez, Gema Ruiz et Guillermo Lopez.

         The lynx in Germany, a successful return, even in fragmented habitats? : Mathias Herrmann et Nina Klar
    Public policies to protect the lynx in Europe in France : Nathalie Lacour
         Geopolitical perspectives of the lynx and the return of large predators in France : connections, similarities and specificities : Farid Benhammou

    Conclusion : René Rosoux et Marie des Neiges de Bellefroid
    Annexes : Organisation of the symposium. Communications, posters, events, addresses of stakeholders, Table of Contents

    This publication is volume 71 of the "Patrimoines Naturels" collection
    Publication Director: Thomas Grenon
    General Director of the National Museum of Natural History
    Editor: Jean-Philippe Siblet
    Editorial Assistant: Gwénaëlle Chavassieu

    Symposium about reintroduction of animals (Lyon FRANCE - February 10th and 11th of 2012)

    To see the article, clich here here

    The lynx of the Jura photographed by camera traps - Study 2011

    A scientific study was conducted by hunting federations of Jura and Doubs, ONCFS, the ONC and the National Centre for Studies and Applied Research (CNERA) thanks to many camera-traps. The first in France!
    The results were made official and concluded at a density of an individual lynx per 100 km ², which is close to figures found by the KORA in a study conducted in Switzerland.

    This study also permitted to photograph a lot of lynx of our Juraforest!

    Photo by ONCFS

    To see the article (in french) : Le Progrès