The secret life of Canada's Lynx

Canadian Lynx family. Credit: Emily Stud

New technology picks up previously unheard of lynx hunting, fighting and sleeping sounds.

Using Fitbit and a spy microphone, scientists have discovered a new insight into the behavior of the Canadian elusive lynx. A new study by researchers from McGill University, the University of Alberta and Trent University offers a first look at how miniature technology could open the door to remote wildlife monitoring.

“By working on one of the largest predators in the northern woods, the Canadian lynx, we found that two different techniques, the accelerometer and audio recording devices, can be used to monitor hunting behavior of predators from a distance, and even document the killing of small prey,” says lead author Emily Stud, a postdoctoral fellow supervised by Murray Humphreys at McGill University and Stan Putin at the University of Alberta.

“We have picked up chases, screams of prey while caught, calls from prey as it escapes, and grinding of bones, along with friendly and aggressive interactions between different lynxes,” says Stud. The recordings are available at Studd’s recent CBC interview.

“Many people want to know what wild animals do when we cannot see them. The ability to constantly record their movements and sounds in their natural environment can provide insight into mating rituals, parental care, and social interactions – and even how individuals differ,” says co-author Alison Menzies, co-author Alison Menzies. PhD recently: “From each other or they change over time.” Graduated from McGill University.

The secret life of Canada's Lynx

Emily Stud and Alison Menzies deal with Canada’s lynx. Credit: Kevin Chan

According to the researchers, understanding predator hunting behavior is essential information for ecologists, providing insight into the well-being of an ecosystem.

“Unfortunately, predators are naturally considered secret animals because they need to infiltrate their prey, which makes studying them and recording this information extremely difficult,” explains Stud. Their use of accelerometers and sound recorders provide two new highly effective methods that can be applied to any predator to monitor behavior and gather information.

The study shows that the carcasses of the snowshoe rabbit feed more than the usual predators

more information:
Emily K. Studd et al., The Purr fect Catch: The Use of Accelerometers and Audio Recorders to Document Kill Rates and Hunting Behavior of a Small Prey Specialist, Methods in Ecology and Evolution (2021). DOI: 10.1111 / 2041-210X.13605

Provided by McGill University

the quote: The Secret Life of the Canadian Lynx (2021, May 31) Retrieved May 31, 2021 from

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