When researchers at Washington State University set out to find where Canada lynx are living in Washington, they’d hoped to find more of the medium-sized cats.
“I think there’d been quite a bit of concern among lynx researchers and agencies about the status of lynx in Washington,” said WSU professor in the School of the Environment Daniel Thornton.
In a study recently published in the Journal of Wildlife Management, Thornton and lead author Travis King found that lynx only occupy about 20% of potential habitat in Washington.
King, a doctoral student in the School of the Environment at the time, covered about a quarter of the state, driving and hiking to potential lynx habitat. Once there, he’d set up trail cameras hoping to capture the elusive lynx or its prey, such as snowshoe hare. They set up the cameras on roads and trails considered “movement corridors” for lynx and other wildlife.