Wild Animals/Lynx

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Question
Hello
i was wondering if Eurasian lynx are present do they greatly affect tropic cascades

Answer
Dear George

Thank you for your question. I also wish to thank the authors of the websites I used. Please note that the lynx is a specialist carnivore, so it has a different effect on trophic cascades than does an omnivore, which can compete for food with a greater range of species.

Marianne Pasanen Mortensen (http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:695755/FULLTEXT01.pdf) says that the Eurasian lynx affects the abundance of mesopredators, such as the red fox, by killing them to avoid competition where there is limited access to prey. Where the lynx has been eradicated, the fox is affected by temperature, productivity and the proportion of cropland. Fox populations fell when lynxes were reintroduced. The wolverine benefits from lynx kills.   

http://theconversation.com/restore-large-carnivores-to-save-struggling-ecosystem says the absence of lynx has been closely tied to the abundance of roe deer, red foxes and hares.

Ron Meador (https://www.minnpost.com/earth-journal/2014/01/loss-biggest-predators-seen-threat-might-rival-climate-change)says that conservationists in Finland promoted the recovery and conservation of Eurasian lynx. The increases in lynx populations were accompanied by a decline in red fox abundance and recovery in the abundance of forest grouse and mountain hare. Where lynx density recovered to 'ecologically effective' levels, the controlling effects of lynxes  on red foxes and prey increased with ecosystem productivity.

Niall Gooch (http://www.quadrapheme.com/the-eurasian-lynx-should-it-be-reintroduced-in-the-uk) considers the impact of reintroducing the lynx to the UK.

The following articles may be useful. Brian Switek (http://www.wired.com/2010/06/restoring-missing-lynx-the-rejuvenation-of-an-ecosy) writes about the role of the Canadian lynx. http://www.uwyo.edu/buskirk/publications/online%20version.pdf considers how wolves affect Canada lynx populations.

I hope this information is useful to you.

All the best

Jonathan

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Jonathan Wright

Expertise

I can answer questions about wild mammals and other animals, as well as extinct animals and zoos. I am not an expert about every animal species. I can look up information from books and the internet, but can't verify if all the information is true. Please don't ask questions about: 1. Pets. I am not a vet. Please contact a vet if your pet is ill. You may need to spend some money if you want your pet to live. Don't get a pet if you don't know how to look after it and if you can't provide it with the space, food and possible companions that will help it live a healthy life. Don't take animals from the wild, unless they are ill and/or injured and you can protect them until a wildlife charity can help. It is cruel to take animals from their parents, especially if the parents will look for the babies, while putting their other babies at risk. You may be breaking the law by keeping wild animals or you may need a licence to look after some species. Please check with a local wildlife group. 2. Eggs: Please don't remove eggs from nests. The mother birds provide the right temperature for the eggs and won't sit on them if the temperature is warm enough for them to develop naturally. It is illegal to remove eggs of some species and, unless you have an incubator or a broody hen, the egg may not develop. If you are allowed to touch the eggs, you can candle them to see if they are fertile. If theys aren't fertile, they won't hatch. 3. Fights: Please don't ask about fights between different animals. These questions assume that individuals of two species fight each time they meet and that one species will always be victorious over another. This is untrue. There are cases where a live mouse has been fed to a venomous snake, bitten the snake leading to the snake's demise. 4: Diseases: Please ask doctors or other medical experts about diseases that you may catch from animals. I can't advise on how to deal with viruses, bacteria etc.

Experience

I have a zoology degree and have been interested in animals since I was two. I am a zoo volunteer at London Zoo. I have appeared on a BBC Radio Quiz, 'Wildbrain'.

Organizations
WWF. ZSL. Natural History Museum. RSPB. London Bat Group.

Publications
Newsletters of London Zoo volunteers and the London Bat Group

Education/Credentials
BSC degree in Zoology. 'A' level in Zoology. 'O' Level in Biology.

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