Based on data from the National Lynx Census, carried out in Poland in 2000–2001, and using Geographic Information System, we analysed nine habitat characteristics in 56 circular sample plots (113 km 2 each), where lynx ( Lynx lynx ) have been recorded, and 118 plots with no signs of their presence. In plots with lynx the forest cover (on average 68%) was two times higher and the forest fragmentation lower than in plots with no lynx records. The plots with and without lynx differed significantly also in the number of villages and towns, length of main motorways and railways. Lynx occurrence was negatively associated to human settlements and transportation infrastructure. Logistic regression analysis showed that sufficient forest cover (>40%) and the short straight-line distance to the eastern or southern border of Poland (as a proxy of the distance to a more contiguous range of lynx in Europe) are the two most important variables explaining lynx distribution. We conclude that, in Poland, increase of forest fragmentation and transportation infrastructure may become important threats to lynx populations.
Biological Conservation – Elsevier
Published: Nov 1, 2006
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