Lynx kittens in the 2021-2022 monitoring season

Posted - Aug 15, 2022

The last lynx monitoring season (September 2021 – April 2022) in Slovenia was completed successfully. More than in any other year, lynx kittens were making an appearance in front of the cameras and we obtained high quality images from Menišija, Racna Gora, Mala Gora, Jelovica and Kočevska Reka. For the first time, a female with four cubs was recorded throughout the entire season; this is the resident female Petra, which has been known from camera traps since 2018 and is wearing a telemetry collar since 2021. The other leading females are also known from previous years.

Petra’s and Klif’s offspring. Photo: LIFE Lynx

We have so far confirmed paternity through genetic analyses for Petra’s offspring (Kočevska Reka – lynx Klif) and for the offspring of lynx Teja (Mala Gora – lynx Goru) and Aida (Jelovica – lynx Zois). In Menišija, the female is assumed to have Katalin’s offspring, as their territories overlap and the kittens have the same type of coat pattern as Catalin; rosetted. On Racna Gora, a local hunter managed to collect some lynx genetic samples despite the poor winter conditions; we are still waiting for the results of the genetic analyses. However, as Goru visited Racna gora during the mating season, it is possible that these kittens are his offspring.

Lynx kittens from Racna Gora. Photo: LIFE Lynx

Aida’s and Zois’ kitten. Photo: LIFE Lynx

These kittens prove that the translocated lynx are successfully passing their genes to the new generations, reinforcing the inbred Dinaric SE-Alpine lynx population. We hope to be able to see at least some of these young lynx on camera traps in the future, when they establish their territory in the Dinaric Mountains or the Alps and continue the legacy of their parents.

Lynx offspring from Menišija. Photo: LIFE Lynx