Lynx Valentina’s path towards independence

Posted - Jun 7, 2023

Valentina is the offspring of Goru, an adult lynx that established its territory in the area of Mala Gora near Ribnica, and Teja, a territorial female from the same area. Valentina has been monitored by telemetry since February last year, when members of the LIFE Lynx team from the Biotechnical faculty captured two young lynx sisters, Valentina and Neža, in one day.

During Valentina’s path towards adulthood, it seemed that she was not a good hunter and spent most of the time following her mother, Teja. However, at the age of one, the young lynx started to move further and further away from her mother’s territory.

She first moved to an area to the northeast where she stayed for about one month and then moved to the neighboring area of the Mala Gora near Kočevje to the southeast of her mother’s territory. It is typical for young females to settle close to their mother’s homerange, if this area is not occupied. Shortly after dispersal, the lynx began to hunt successfully and regularly.

In February 2023, biologists from the Biotechnical Faculty came across an interesting event. While checking one of Valentina’s prey remains, a young male lynx approached them at close range. Given that Valentina was in the vicinity at the time, and it was the mating season, it is possible they were also mating. We hope that we will soon be able to confirm and monitor the first offspring of the offspring of the introduced lynx.

Valentina’s natal homerange and her current territory. Photo: Jaka Črtalič