Canada lynx, a federally-listed species, is sensitive to changes in forest structure. Forest structure influences prey such as snowshoe hares and ultimately the ability of Canada lynx to forage and produce kittens. Therefore, we need to understand how forest management can be used to further lynx conservation into the foreseeable future. In our research, we first investigated how lynx responded to changes in forest structure in terms of their habitat-use. We then evaluated how lynx responded to different silvicultural treatments in terms of years since harvest and tree-harvest methods. In addition, we assessed how changes in forest structure affected the ability of lynx to produce kittens and how forest management could be used to serve Canada lynx conservation efforts. This research required close collaboration between scientists, silviculturists, and wildlife biologists to achieve our goals. Together, we developed forest mapping tools based on remote sensing to map forest structure and composition across broad landscapes. We captured and instrumented Canada lynx with global positioning system (GPS) collars to accurately plot their movements and habitat use. By using the GPS technology, we were also able to locate dens and record the number of kittens each female produced over the years. Armed with this information, we built statistical models that not only predicted how lynx use forested landscapes, but also how forest structure related to a female’s ability to produce kittens.
Kosterman, M.K., Squires, J.R., Holbrook, J.D., Pletscher, D.H., Hebblewhite, M., 2018. Forest structure provides the income for reproductive success in a southern population of Canada lynx. Ecol. Appl. 28, 1032–1043. doi:10.1002/eap.1707
Holbrook, J.D., Squires, J.R., Olson, L.E., DeCesare, N.J., Lawrence, R.L., 2017. Understanding and predicting habitat for wildlife conservation: the case of Canada lynx at the range periphery. Ecosphere 8, e01939. doi:10.1002/ecs2.1939
Holbrook, J.D., Squires, J.R., Olson, L.E., Lawrence, R.L., Savage, S.L., 2017. Multiscale habitat relationships of snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) in the mixed conifer landscape of the Northern Rockies, USA: Cross-scale effects of horizontal cover with implications for forest management. Ecol. Evol. 7, 125–144. doi:10.1002/ece3.2651