The reintroduced Dinaric lynx population dynamics in PVA simulation

The 30 years retrospection and the future viability

Authors

  • Hubert Potočnik
  • Tomaž Skrbinšek
  • Ivan Kos

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.14720/abs.52.1.15135

Keywords:

Eurasian lynx, Lynx lynx, population dynamics, PVA simulation, reintroduction, Dinaric region

Abstract

In the study, we modelled population dynamics of the reintroduced Dinaric lynx population. We used data obtained by monitoring to estimate population dynamics–spatial expansion, abundance estimates, and mortalities–since the reintroduction in 1973 and up to the present day, and then looked for demographic and habitat parameters that would provide the best fit of a lynx population model to this data. We tried to evaluate the importance of these parameters for future population dynamics and viability (PVA) of this lynx population. We constructed a number of 100-year simulations using a range of demographic parameters, different prey availabilities and simulating other potential human related factors that might affect the lynx population. We found that there introduced lynx population must have had high fecundity rates with more than1.6 kittens survived per female and per litter to reach abundances over 100 individuals despite the high human related mortality. The elasticity analysis revealed that adult survival is by far the most important demographic parameter for the lynx population dynamics. PVA highlighted two important factors that had a major impact on population growth dynamics and related risk of population extinction: changes in  the survival rates of subadult and adult individuals and, especially, the quality of habitat with regard to prey availability. Survival rates of subadult and adult lynx are directly influenced by human activities, mainly manifested through illegal shooting, and are difficult to control. Quite opposite to that, the quality of habitat with regard to prey availability can be directly influenced through management. Since habitat quality can have a significant role for the lynx population dynamic and viability, even in presence of minor, difficult to control changes in survival rates of subadults and adults, adequate prey species management might be one of the most important short-term conservation priorities

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01.07.2009

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Potočnik, H., Skrbinšek, T., & Kos, I. (2009). The reintroduced Dinaric lynx population dynamics in PVA simulation: The 30 years retrospection and the future viability. Acta Biologica Slovenica, 52(1), 3-18. https://doi.org/10.14720/abs.52.1.15135

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