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1 September 2008 Diurnal Habitat Relationships of Canada Lynx in an Intensively Managed Private Forest Landscape in Northern Maine
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In March 2000, Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) were listed as a federally threatened species in 14 states at the southern periphery of their range, where lynx habitat is disjunct and snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus) densities are low. Forest conditions vary across lynx range; thus, region-specific data on the habitat requirements of lynx are needed. We studied lynx in northern Maine, USA, from 1999 to 2004 to assess quality and potential for forests in Maine to sustain lynx populations. We trapped and radiocollared 43 lynx (21 M, 22 F) during this period and evaluated diurnal habitat selection by 16 resident adult lynx (9 M, 7 F) monitored in 2002. We evaluated lynx selection of 8 habitats at multiple spatial scales, and related lynx habitat selection to snowshoe hare abundance. Lynx preferred conifer-dominated sapling stands, which supported the highest hare densities on our study site ( = 2.4 hares/ha), over all other habitats. The habitats where lynx placed their home ranges did not differ by sex. However, within their home ranges, males not only preferred conifer-dominated sapling stands, but also preferred mature conifer, whereas females singularly preferred conifer-dominated sapling stands. Approximately one-third of Maine's spruce–fir forest and nearly 50% of our study area was regenerating conifer or mixed-sapling forest, resulting from a disease event and intensive forest management (e.g., large clear-cuts). Our findings suggest that current habitat conditions in Maine are better than western montane regions and approach conditions in boreal forests during periods of hare abundance. We recommend that forest landowners maintain a mosaic of different-aged conifer stands to ensure a component of regenerating conifer-dominated forest on the landscape.

Jennifer H. Vashon, Amy L. Meehan, John F. Organ, Walter J. Jakubas, Craig R. McLaughlin, Adam D. Vashon, and Shannon M. Crowley "Diurnal Habitat Relationships of Canada Lynx in an Intensively Managed Private Forest Landscape in Northern Maine," Journal of Wildlife Management 72(7), 1488-1496, (1 September 2008).
Published: 1 September 2008

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