From extermination all year round to the Red Book: characteristics of lynx life in the Vladimir region

Where in the Vladimir region can you see a lynx, how many hares does this animal eat in a meeting, how many kilometers does it travel per day and why in 1965 the Vladimir region authorities banned the extermination of this predator

In the early hours of January 9, 2021, a lynx entered the ecological trail at the Klyazminsko-Lukhsky Nature Reserve in the Vyaznikovsky district of the Vladimir region. A cat from the cat family fell into the lens of a camera and left traces in the fresh snow, according to the regional
Directorate of Specially Protected Natural Countries.

Until the 1960s, according to the rules of hunting, the lynx was classified as an unconditionally harmful predator and was subject to extinction all year round. But in 1965, the Executive Committee of the Vladimir Regional Council banned the extermination of this predator. Currently, the lynx is included in the Red Book of the Vladimir Region. According to experts, 30-50 people can currently live in the area. The animals themselves or their traces appear periodically in the forests of Kirzhachsky, Petushinsky, Sudogodsky, Selivanovsky, Melenkovsky and other areas. It is difficult to say whether they live there permanently or it turned out to be a “passage”.

Here is what is written about the lynx in the book “Animal World of the Vladimir Region” by Nikolai Sysoev, published in 1970.

“The southern borders of the lynx distribution in the USSR cross the Vladimir region. It is true that the lynx enters the southernmost region – the Ryazan, but here it is sporadically found. Studying the archival material of the former province of Vladimir, we never came across a report that the lynx has ever been found in our forests and someone has chased it. Obviously, if he lived here 200-300 years ago, then, as now, they were extremely few in number. The size of the lynx population in the Vladimir region can be judged by the size of its prey. So, for example, for 17 years (1946-1962), only 40 lynx skins were harvested in the area …

The lynx in the Vladimir region is not distributed everywhere, it clings to deaf forest areas with a tall stem with dense vegetation, with necrops. The lynx is most commonly found in the southwestern part of the Vladimir districts, northwest of Gusevsky and west of Sobinsky. Almost no lynx is located east of the river Sudogda and east of the river Klyazma from the place where the river Sudogda flows into it until it crosses the border of Ivanovo …

Of the 12 lynxes we weighed, the smallest weight of the female is 8.5 kg and the largest of the male is 26 kg.

In January 1957, a lynx family was discovered in the Petushinsky area, consisting of an adult female and two young (female and male). For three days, this family was watched by footprints in the snow. The daily course of the lynx ranged from 9 to 18 kilometers.

The lynx monitored hunted white hares at night and in the morning. They were watching hares on the trails and caught them here. In the morning, the hare lay down on the couch, the lynx noticed him and grabbed him. If the predators could not catch the hare in the hare, then they chased it for no more than 50 meters. As you know, the main ingredient in lynx food in winter is hare. During the day, these three lynx ate almost entirely two birds with one stone. In addition to the hares, for three days they managed to get a hazelnut, which was sitting in a snow hole. From the path it was clear how an adult lynx, apparently smelling of a hazelnut, abruptly changed direction and, after walking another 10 meters, caught a hazelnut. There has not been a single case of lynx attack in the area on domestic animals, as well as on elk calves.

In the last 100 years, not a single case of lynx offspring has been reported in the area. Hunters have a well-established view that this animal does not breed here, but comes from the north and east of taiga forests. However, in 1951, assistant forester DF Karpov at the Baglachevsky Forester on May 26 managed to find a brood consisting of 3 more completely blind lynxes. The nest was a hollow in the ground beneath the uprooted roots of a fallen tree. It was located in a remote, inaccessible mixed forest near a swamp. The lynxes had a grayish-smoky hair color and creaked incessantly.

There is no regular lynx hunting in the area. From 1 to 7 lynx are caught annually in the area. The hunters handed over all the lynx skins to the state: until 1965, a bonus was paid for the exported lynx in the same amount as the killed wolf, ie 50 rubles.

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