Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) were listed as a federally threatened species in 14 states at the southern extent of their geographic range in March 2000, with Maine being the only state in the northeastern United States known to support a resident population. Relatively little information is known about the ecology of lynx living at the southern edge of their range, including range requirements, movements, and spatial organization. Basic knowledge of lynx ecology is needed for federal recovery planning efforts. Between 1999 and 2004, we trapped and radiocollared 43 lynx (21 M, 22 F) in northern Maine in an intensively managed and predominantly early successional forested landscape. We estimated diurnal annual and seasonal home-range size for male and female lynx using the 85% fixed-kernel home-range estimator. Annual home ranges of adult male lynx (x̄ = 53.6 km2) were more than twice the size of adult female home ranges (x̄ = 25.7 km2). Home ranges of adult females during snow periods (x̄ = 38.3 km2) were nearly 3 times larger than their snow-free-period ranges (x̄ = 14.3 km2), whereas, snow-free ranges of adult males (x̄ = 58.8 km2) were slightly larger than their snow-period ranges (x̄ = 45.2 km2). We observed a limited amount of home-range overlap among lynx of the same sex (F: x̄ = 17.2%; M: x̄ = 11.8%). Lynx of opposite sex showed more extensive overlap (x̄ = 24.3%). Most home-range shifts of resident lynx were typically not extensive. Based on territory mapping, we estimated a minimum lynx density of 9.2–13.0 lynx/100 km2. We observed lynx spatial ecology and densities that were more similar to northern lynx populations when hares were abundant than to other southern lynx populations, suggesting that region-specific studies under varying habitat conditions and hare densities are needed to ensure realistic recovery goals and effective management of lynx at the southern extent of their range.
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Vol. 72 • No. 7