Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The First Lynx

My favorite picture of the lynx- a male, pausing to check out the scents I had put down over a months earlier.  

           A good friend and local biologist saw a lynx in Pittsburg N.H. earlier this summer, but with no photo's to show, there wasn't the proof needed to confirm this species. A few transient lynx have passed through NH in the last decade, evidence that has been found in tracks, but the last known NH lynx was killed by a car in 1993. 
              In mid July I began to set up the cameras I built in Pittsburg N.H., using many of the same tricks that I had used for bobcat. I checked my cameras at the end of July, in August, and then again in early September. I added a few cameras and moved them around to put the most reliable cameras in the best locations. Essentially I was focusing on the best snowshoe hare habitat, the Lynx's primary food--as confirmed by many scat analysis studies in Maine and southern Quebec. 
           Checking and deploying the cameras is a full two-day job, sunrise to sun set. In November, after 4.5 months, and over 10,000 photographs, I had the pictures of a lynx that I wanted. The picture above is one such example, and is to my knowledge the first picture of a wild lynx in New Hampshire habitat ever. I have exhausted all of my sources in search of another photograph of a lynx in NH, and it seems unlikely to me, after talking with biologists, scholars, and examining the history of lynx in N.H., that such a photograph exists. When I check them cameras again in another month or so, I will be trying a few new tricks that I picked up from some old trappers, and I believe these new techniques will make my camera sets very successful. Look for new pictures that will be posted here in the coming months, meanwhile I have deployed enough local cameras in some of my favorite spots to keep the pictures coming until then. A special thank-you to all of those who have supported my efforts, they would not be possible without the support and constant information from those at home an on the web.

Here is the link to the published article by N.H. Fish and Game:

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