June is the season of denning. Female lynx usually give birth at the end of May and spend at least two months with the cubs at the denning site, moving them from den to den. In case of Aida, telemetry data was showing us that she was staying confined to a small area since mid-May, indicating potential denning. Causing minimum possible disturbance, we visited the area and confirmed Aida gave birth to three kittens.
The kittens were all in good shape and already showing some specific personality traits at the age of three weeks; one behaving more boldly than the other. We took genetic samples of the kittens which will enable us to confirm the paternity of the kittens, even though do not expect any surprises since we know from the telemetry data that Aida spent considerable time with Zois during the mating season in March. The genetic identity of the offspring will also allow us to detect them in the future by matching the genotypes extracted from randomly collected non-invasive lynx genetic samples in nature.
We wish all kittens good fortune and hope to record them on some of our camera traps once they start following Aida around the Jelovica plateau.