Following in their footsteps
Monitoring lynx is extremely difficult because of their elusive nature. A good way of getting around this is to look for clues in the landscape that the animal has left behind. This can be done by 1) following tracks, 2) collecting urine and other genetic samples and 3) installing remote cameras.
A typical day involves searching for and following lynx tracks, usually in the snow, until the tracks end, the light fades, or the terrain makes it impossible to continue. Every path is recorded using a GPS so that we can visualise the lynx’s path and analyse the data. This gives us a landscape-scale story of lynx numbers, ranges, and behaviours. On particularly good days, we might find urine, scat (faecal) or fur samples, from which we can extract genetic data and gain insight into things like kinship and sex.