Friday, October 28, 2011

Habitat Corridors for the Canadian Lynx

As of 2002, the Canadian lynx was listed as an endangered species by the United States’ standards. Efforts were therefore made to bring the population back up to a stable number. As there was uncertainty as to whether the lynxes occupied a continuous habitat or existed in patchy habitats, ecologists took to measuring genetic variation amongst lynxes in varying geographical regions. After finding that the lynxes were relatively similar in terms of genetics, researchers determined that the habitats were probably connected and hypothesized that lynxes utilize the connectivity to travel over large areas and spread their genes.

As a result of the lynxes’ tendency to travel, the possibility of incorporating habitat corridors seems likely to be successful. Protection of isolated habitats alone will not benefit the lynxes as much because they will restrict the movement that the lynxes have demonstrated to be part of their regular behavior.

During a subsequent survey of lynx distribution in the United States, a few of the researchers submitted lynx fur that came from captive lynxes, causing something of a scandal. Though this fake data could have potentially thrown off distribution counts, fellow researchers insist that the captive lynx fur did not significantly alter the distribution data. The study therefore continues to show that the implementation of habitat corridors could serve the lynx population well, helping it to become more stable.

1 comment:

christinayoung said...

Trivedi, Bijel P. "Lynxes Need Habitat Corridors, Study Suggests." National Geographis Today. 2002.