Modeling potential effects of brown bear kleptoparasitism on the predation rate of Eurasian lynx


  • Miha Krofel
  • Ivan Kos



Eurasian lynx, Lynx lynx, brown bear, Ursus arctos, kleptoparasitism, interspecific competition, predation, kill rate, Dinaric Mountains


Kleptoparasitism is a frequent phenomenon when consumption of prey by predator continues for a relatively long period. This is common when prey is larger or of a similar size as the predator. We built a simple model to study the potential effects of the kleptoparasitism by the brown bears (Ursus arctos)on the predation rate of the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) in the northern Dinaric Mountains, where the two species coexist. When using data from literature and preliminary studies in the study area, the model suggests substantial increase in the predation rate of the lynx due to the scavenging activity of bears. However, additional data from the field on the frequency, time course and seasonal variation of the bear’s visits to carcasses are needed, as well as an evaluation of the lynx’ possibilities to increase the predation rate. We suggest that the effects of kleptoparasitism should be considered when evaluating the impact of predation on populations of wild game and during conservation efforts for conservation of endangered carnivore species.


Bothma, J. du P., le Riche, E.A.N., 1984. Aspects of the ecology and the behaviour of the leopard Panthera pardus in the Kalahari Desert. Suppl. Koedoe, 27: 259–279. DOI:

Carbone, C., Du Toit, J.T., Gordon, I.J., 1997. Feeding success in African wild dogs: does kleptopara- sitism by spotted hyenas inluence hunting group size? J. Anim. Ecol. 66: 318–326. DOI:

Červený, J., Okarma, H., 2002. Caching prey in trees by Eurasian lynx. Acta Theriol. 47 (4): 505–508. DOI:

Fedriani, J.M., Fuller, T.K., Sauvajot, R.M., York, E.C., 2000. Competition and intraguild predation among three sympatric carnivores. Oecologia 125: 258–270. DOI:

Grosse, C., Kaczensky, P., Knauer, F., 2003. Ants: a food source sought by Slovenian brown bears (Ursus arctos)? Can. J. Zool. 81: 1996–2005. DOI:

Hayward, M.W., Hofmeyr, M., O’Brien, J., Kerley, G.I.H., 2006. Prey preferences of the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) (Felidae: Carnivora): morphological limitations or the need to capture rapidly consumable prey before kleptoparasites arrive? J. Zool. 270: 615–627. DOI:

Herrero, S., 1985. Bear attacks: Their causes and avoidance. Nick Lyons Books, Lyons and Burford Publishers, New York, 287 pp.

Huber, D., Roth, H.U., 1993. Movements of European brown bears in Croatia. Acta Theriol. 38: 151–159. DOI:

Hucht-Ciorga, I., 1988. Studien zur Biologie des Luchses: Jagdverhalten, Beuteausnutzung, inne- rartliche Kommunikation und an den Spuren fassbare Körpermerkmale. Ferdinand Enke Verlag, Stuttgart, 177 pp.

Hunter, J.S., Durant, S.M., Caro, T.M., 2007. To lee or not to lee: predator avoidance by cheetahs at kills. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 61: 1033–1042. DOI:

JCdrzejewska, B., JCdrzejewski, W. 1998. Predation in vertebrate communities: The Biłowieca Primeval Forest as a case study. Springer, Heidelberg, 450 pp.

JCdrzejewski, W., Schmidt, K., Milkowski, L., JCdrzejewska, B., Okarma, H., 1993. Foraging by lynx and its role in ungulate mortality: the local (Bialowieza Forest) and the Palaearctic viewpoints. Acta Theriol. 38: 385–403. DOI:

Jobin, A., Molinari, P., Breitenmoser, U., 2000. Prey spectrum, prey preference and consumption rates of Eurasian lynx in the Swiss Jura Mountains. Acta Theriol. 45 (2): 243–252. DOI:

Kaczensky, P., Knauer, F., 2000. Habitat use of bears in a multi-use landscape in Slovenia. In: Kac- zensky (ed.): Co-existence of brown bears and men in the cultural landscape of Slovenia. Institute of Wildlife Biology and Game Management, Vienna, pp. 1–41.

Kordiš, F., 1993. Dinarski jelovo bukovi gozdovi v Sloveniji. Strokovna in znanstvena dela 112.

Oddelek za gozdarstvo, Biotehniška fakulteta, Ljubljana, 139 pp.

Kos, I., Potočnik, H., Skrbinšek, T., Skrbinšek Majić, A., Jonoznovič, M., Krofel, M., 2005. Ris v Sloveniji: strokovna izhodišča za varstvo in upravljanje, 2. dopolnjena izd. Oddelek za biologijo, Biotehniška fakulteta, Ljubljana, 272 pp. [In Slovenian with English summary]

Krofel, M., 2006. [Predation and feeding habits of Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) in Slovenian Dinaric Mountains. Graduation thesis.] Oddelek za biologijo, Biotehniška fakulteta, Univerza v Ljibljani, Ljubljana, 100 pp. [In Slovenian with English abstract]

Krofel, M., Kos, I., 2007. Evidence of the brown bear (Ursus arctos) tracking the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) on the Snežnik plateau, Slovenia. Natura Sloveniae 9 (2): 45–46.

Krofel, M., Kos, I., 2010. Scat analysis of gray wolves (Canis lupus) in Slovenia. Zbornik gozdarstva in lesarstva 91: 3–12.

Krofel, M., Potočnik, H., Skrbinšek, T., Kos, I., 2006. [Movement and predation patterns of Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) on Menišija and Logatec plateau (Slovenia).] Veterinarske novice 32 (1–2): 11–17. [In Slovenian with English abstract]

Krofel, M., Pagon, N., Zor, P., Kos, I., 2008a. Analiza vsebine prebavil medvedov (Ursus arctos L.) odvzetih iz narave v Sloveniji v letih 2006–2008. Končno poročilo. Biotehniška fakulteta, Univerza v Ljubljani, 60 str. [In Slovenian]

Krofel, M., Kos, I., Linnell, J.D.C., Odden, J., Teurlings, I., 2008b. Human kleptoparasitism on Eurasian

lynx (Lynx lynx L.) in Slovenia and Norway. Varstvo narave, 21: 93–103.

Linnell, J.D.C., Strand, O., 2000. Interference interactions, co-existence and conservation of mam- malian carnivores. Diversity and Distributions 6: 169–176. DOI:

Molinari-Jobin, A., Molinari, P., Breitenmoser-Würsten Ch., Breitenmoser, U., 2002. Signiicance of lynx Lynx lynx predation of roe deer Capreolus capreolus and chamois Rupicapra rupicapra mortality in the Swiss Jura Mountains. Wildl. Biol. 8: 109–115. DOI:

Murphy, K.M., Felzien, G.S., Hornocker, M.G., Ruth, T., 1996. Encounter competition between bears and cougars: some ecological implications. Ursus 10: 55–60.

Okarma, H., JCdrzejewski, W., Schmidt, K., Kowalczyk, R., JCdrzejewska, B., 1997. Predation of Eurasian lynx on roe deer and red deer in Białowieca Primeval Forest, Poland. Acta Theriol. 42: 203–224. DOI:

Rajković, J., 1999. Analiza prehrane risa u Hrvatskoj i Sloveniji. Seminarska naloga. Zavod za biolo- gijo, Veterinarski fakultet, Sveučilište u Zagrebu, Zagreb, 18 pp. [in Croatian]

Schmidt, K., 2008. Behavioural and spatial adaptation of the Eurasian lynx to a decline in prey avail- ability. Acta Theriol. 53 (1): 1–16. DOI:

Selva, N., JCdrzejewska, B., JCdrzejewski, W., Wajrak, A., 2003. Scavenging on European bison car- casses in Biłowieca Primeval Forest (eastern Poland). Ecoscience 10 (3): 303–311. DOI:

Skrbinšek, T., Jelenčič, M., Potočnik, H., Trontelj, P., Kos, I., 2008. Varstvena genetike in ocena številčnosti medveda 2007. Končno poročilo. Biotehniška fakulteta, Univerza v Ljubljani, 128 str. [In Slovenian]






Original Research Paper

How to Cite

Krofel, M., & Kos, I. (2010). Modeling potential effects of brown bear kleptoparasitism on the predation rate of Eurasian lynx. Acta Biologica Slovenica, 53(1), 47-54.

Similar Articles

1-10 of 60

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.

Most read articles by the same author(s)