International Journal of Pure and Applied Zoology

Research Article - International Journal of Pure and Applied Zoology (2017) Volume 5, Issue 2

CURRENT STATUS OF LYNX LYNX (L. 1758) IN THE OSSOLA VALLEY (WESTERN ITALIAN ALPS)

European Alps are currently inhabited by a meta-population of Lynx lynx (L. 1758) well below the optimum level. The aim of the present study was to update and discuss the information available on the species in the study area. Two methods of field research were applied: the naturalistic and the photo-capturing. The naturalistic method was implemented in two sub-periods, 03.2009-03.2011 (58 transects, with 440.1 km walked) and 02.2013-03.2015 (78 transects with 569.9 km walked) with a total sampling effort of 1010 km distributed in a study area of 136.5 km2. For the photo-trapping method, 4 different cameras and 2014 with a sampling effort of 152 trap-days, both on crossroads or along trails, without the use of any attractant or were placed at two sites in 2013 lure. Nat-meth produced 18 signs of the presence clusters (each cluster contains the evidences attributable to the same subject); by photo-meth we obtained 7 captures. The data obtained reveal the presence of the two adult males, concolor bigger and spotted smaller, in the study area between 2013 and 2015 without any evidence of reproductive activity (presence of adult females and kitten or non-emancipated young). The comparison between the present and previous studies leads to statistically nonsignificant differences between the relative abundances of the lynx in the study area. However, it is important to emphasize that in the 2009-11 its presence considerably declined while an increase has been recorded in the following sub-period (2013-15). Finally, it is possible to guess that the small deme present in the Ossola Valley is founded by individuals from the south-western Swiss Alps. The hypothesis that there is a flow of individuals between the two areas seems to be confirmed by the considerable numerical oscillation observed in the two sub-periods investigated in this study.

Author(s): Francesca Vercillo, Andrea Baldi and Bernardino Ragni

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