Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) is the third biggest large predator in Poland. The body mass of adults ranges from 15 to 25 kilos in our region. Lynxes inhabiting lowlands of the country have a fawn-coloured coat, with more spotted limbs, while Carpathian lynxes have more or less bright red fur with significant spots of different size and shape. The lynx has been protected throughout Poland since 1995.
The current number of the lynx population, according the annual lynx inventory, have been estimated on less than 200 individuals. There are two main regions of lynx occurence in Poland: north-eastern and estern part of Poland, and the Carpathian Mountains togather with the Carpathian Foothils. Lynxes living in Western Poland have been reintroduced since 2019 by the Western Pomeranian Nature Society. The released animals originate from captivity. They spread to other forests in Poland.
Lynxes (except females raising kittens) live solitary lifes. Individuals occupy their own home ranges. Radiotelemetry studies conducted in the Białowieża Forest (NE Poland) and the Carpathian Mts. (S Poland) revealed, that territories of adult males reached 250 km2, and 130 km2 for females. Male territories overlap two-three female territories.
The mating season occur in March. Adult males expand their territories to mate with several females, which live within the area. Usually one or two, rarely three kittens are born in May, and stay with their mother throughout 10 months. The male do not participate in breeding youngs. The lone female hunt effectively, providing kittens with a proper amount of food. Growing youngs learn how to hunt observing their hunting mother, and then helping her. They became independent before next mating season. Some young lynxes (mostly females) establish their home ranges close to maternal territories, other (mostly males) disperse on long distances to search for a vacant home range.
Lynx prey on wild ungulates, mostly on roe deer (about 60-70% of all prey) and red deer (20-30%), more rarely on small animals (hare, rodents, birds). Amongst red deer population they select mostly young or weak individuals, no such selection was recorded in roe deer.
Radiotelemetry in the Białowieża Forest showed that lynxes are mostly active during nights, on average 6-7 hours per night, and a daily movement distance reaches about 7 km. Females during raising pups are active longer than males. Lynxes, except for females with youngs and mating pairs, hunt solitarly. They stalk close to a spotted prey in the cover of undergrowth, then after short run they attack and kill with a grip of sharp canine teeth. After hunting of bigger prey, lynx can stay near and feed for several days. After every feeding they cover the remains with snow, grass or leaves to keep it fresh and save against scavengers.