2008 was a year of transition for the Canada lynx project in Minnesota. It is the end of the 6th
year of the project, and radiocollared lynx have been present in Minnesota for the entire project.
Other than the study by Dr. L.D. Mech in the early 1970’s in which 14 lynx were radiocollared and
monitored for up to a year, this project remains the only radiotelemetry project on Canada lynx in the
central portion of their range in North America. In part because Canada lynx were listed as a
Threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, we also know more about Canada lynx in
Maine, Montana, and Wyoming than was ever known before because of radiotelemetry projects in
those states. Results from all of these studies are appearing in the peer-reviewed literature.
The project in Minnesota began when GPS collars became available that were light enough to
be worn by lynx. We obtained over 15,000 locations of Canada lynx, and have technical reports, peerreviewed
papers, and annual reports both published and in preparation. We review these new papers
and provide an update on the status of Canada lynx in Minnesota based on interpretation of historical
records and data collected during this radiotelemetry project. Information contained in this update
could be useful to MN DNR personnel currently deciding whether the status of lynx in Minnesota
should be changed to endangered, threatened, or a species of special concern.
We will continue to monitor radiocollared lynx, and place new radiocollars on lynx with
available funding. We had three animals radiocollared at the start of 2008 in Minnesota and by the
end of 2008 only two male lynx in Minnesota had functioning transmitters. We could not locate the
last transmitting radiocollared female in Minnesota (L31) after April 2008. There were two additional
radiocollared lynx (one male and one female) with transmitting collars located in Ontario in May
We continued to count snowshoe hare pellets in spring 2008. Pellet counts showed continued
presence of snowshoe hare at densities adequate to support lynx. The highest snowshoe hare densities
are found in cover types that have a conifer component or have a brushy layer at the ground surface.
These same cover types (Regenerating Forest, Upland Conifer, and Shrubby Grassland) are also
selected by Canada lynx during daily movements within their home range.
Since 2003 the project has been supported by several agencies with common deliverables and
with some deliverables that varied with agency. The report covers the lynx project in its entirety and
we indicate specific deliverables in Appendix 2. We continue to use the project website
(www.nrri.umn.edu/lynx) to provide information to biologists and the general public. This website is
a historical record of the project, lists project goals and accomplishments, and is a source of
publications available for download.
Canada Lynx in the Great Lakes Region: 2008 Report to Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
University of Minnesota Duluth.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.