Big spots in a small population – a new scientific article by Croatian LIFE Lynx team

Posted - Mar 7, 2022

Members of Croatian LIFE Lynx team have published a new scientific manuscript. They researched a quantitative approach to analysing the four types of lynx coat patterns recognized in Croatia and to track frequencies of coat patterns over time. A total of 195 photographs of lynx individuals from Croatia, collected in the 1978–2019 period, were visually assigned to one of four types of coat patterns: no spots, small spots, big spots, and rosettes. Then, using metrics available within the open source software ImageJ, lynx spot traits were quantified and compared to detect objective differences of the four coat patterns. When looking at the occurrence of the four coat patterns inside the two temporal categories, they differed significantly between individuals photographed in 1978–1999 and those photographed in 2001–2019. The frequency of coats without spots fell from 14% to zero, the frequency of rosettes dropped from 23% to 9%, while the frequency of big spots increased from 46% to 80%.

Some of the lynxes that were released in the Dinarics during our project have coats without spots, so it will be interesting to track their impact on frequencies of coat patterns in the future.

Manuscript is available at: