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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2010

Competition between recolonizing wolves and resident lynx in Sweden

Wikenros, Camilla; Liberg, Olof; Sand, Håkan; Andren, Henrik


We studied the effect of a recolonizing wolf (Canis lupus L., 1758) population on a resident lynx (Lynx lynx (L., 1758)) population in south-central Sweden. Wolf and lynx share the same prey species, western roe deer (Capreolus capreolus (L., 1758)), and the size difference between the two species suggests a strong potential for interference competition. The spatial distributions of lynx family groups (n = 378) over four winters were not significantly affected by the increase in size and range of the wolf population. Survival of lynx kittens until 9 months of age did not differ significantly inside (54%; n = 37) and outside (62%; n = 42) wolf territories, and female lynx (a = 3) selected natal den sites (n = 19) in the same local area before and after wolf establishment. Furthermore, lynx home-range size (n = 42) did not increase as a result of presence of wolves and space use by female lynx (n = 3) was not affected by wolf establishment. We found no evidence of cleptoparasitism by wolves on roe deer killed by lynx. We conclude that the intensity of interference and exploitation competition between wolves and lynx was low.

Published in

Canadian Journal of Zoology
2010, Volume: 88, number: 3, pages: 271-279