Defining space use and movements of Canada lynx with global positioning system telemetry

Christopher L. Burdett, Ron Moen, Gerald J Niemi, L. David Mech

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Space use and movements of Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) are difficult to study with very-high-frequency radiocollars. We deployed global positioning system (GPS) collars on 11 lynx in Minnesota to study their seasonal space-use patterns. We estimated home ranges with minimum-convex-polygon and fixed-kernel methods and estimated core areas with area/probability curves. Fixed-kernel home ranges of males (range = 29-522 km2) were significantly larger than those of females (range = 5-95 km2) annually and during the denning season. Some male lynx increased movements during March, the month most influenced by breeding activity. Lynx core areas were predicted by the 60% fixed-kernel isopleth in most seasons. The mean core-area size of males (range = 6-190 km2) was significantly larger than that of females (range = 1-19 km2) annually and during denning. Most female lynx were reproductive animals with reduced movements, whereas males often ranged widely between Minnesota and Ontario. Sensitivity analyses examining the effect of location frequency on home-range size suggest that the home-range sizes of breeding females are less sensitive to sample size than those of males. Longer periods between locations decreased home-range and core-area overlap relative to the home range estimated from daily locations. GPS collars improve our understanding of space use and movements by lynx by increasing the spatial extent and temporal frequency of monitoring and allowing home ranges to be estimated over short periods that are relevant to life-history characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-467
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Mammalogy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2007


  • Canada lynx
  • Core area
  • Global positioning system
  • Home range
  • Lynx canadensis
  • Movements
  • Telemetry


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