Lynx dating

Posted - Jul 22, 2019

It looks like that our Romanian male lynx Goru has found his territory on Mala gora and maybe also his mate. He met a female lynx Teja, and it looks like they have met more than once. Their radio collar data shows that they first met on June the 1st, that is the first day Goru entered Teja’s territory. Their locations show that they’ve spent 3 days close to one another. Their second “date” was just after 4 days, when again they’ve spent 3 days in the same place. Afterwards we’ve searched this location and found the remains of a prey (female and juvenile roe deer), that they have obviously shared. We cannot say who caught the prey, because they got there practically at the same time. After their 3-day “lunch” they’ve separated and were moving independently for most of the time. On June 19th they’ve came back together for a day rest and on July 2nd for a brief encounter in the middle of the night. You can see their movements in the animation we’ve prepared.

Lynx are a typically territorial species, but only towards the opposite sex. This means that males are defending their territory from other males and females from other females. A male and a female can tolerate each other and share the majority of the same territory. Usually these kind of “couples” live separately and meet each other just in the mating season, which is in the Dinarids from February to March. The couple is though in touch all the time via chemical messages they leave on special places in the forest with rubbing on rocks, tree trunks and roots, and via feces and urine (similar to domestic cats).

Lynx Teja is leaving a chemical message by rubbing against grass. Video credit: Franc Kljun

We rarely have the opportunity to document interactions between two lynx, since it is hard to radio collar two lynx of the opposite sex from the same area. And it is even more rare to have the situation when one lynx is translocted and the other one a remnant lynx. It is hard to predicts how Goru’s and Teja’s “love story” will develop, since there are still many months till mating season. But we will keep observing their “dating” from a distance.

In March this year Teja was calling for a mate. Looks like she was finally answered. Video credit: Franc Kljun

Lynx Teja. Photo: photo trap, LIFE Lynx

On of Goru’s resting places in Mala Gora. Photo: Lan Hočevar