Release:2018, Vol. 4. №2
About the authors:Elena A. Bykova, Cand. Sci. (Biol.), Field Coordinator, UNDP in Uzbekistan; firstname.lastname@example.org
This article provides new data on the distribution of the Turkestan lynx, Lynx lynx isabellinus — a rare subspecies inhabiting the territory of the Chatkal State Biosphere Nature Reserve in the western Chatkal Range in Uzbekistan. Using camera traps, we managed to confirm the presence of this predator in the Chatkal Range and updated the distribution of this rare subspecies in the Western Tien Shan Mountains. The lynx was recorded in all studied biotopes at altitudes between 1,300 and 3,550 m a. s. l.; however, it occurs most frequently in sparse juniper forests, on steep slopes with rocky outcrops, at altitudes 2,000-2,300 m a. s. l.
The article also provides data on the lynx’s activity patterns, analyzes the species’s potential diet, and studies the distribution and biology of its most probable preys. We propose that the Turkestan lynx in the Chatkal Range feeds basically on the chukar partridge Alectoris chukar and various rodents.
This study provides a baseline for further research on the ecology and conservation needs of the Turkestan lynx. We show that camera trap method is particularly efficient for the study of rare or elusive species, such as the Turkestan lynx, which is supported by large amounts of new, formerly unavailable information on this subspecies. In addition, camera trapping in the Turkestan lynx’s habitat provided information about the occurrence and basic ecological aspects of sympatric species, and we propose it as a key methods of monitoring of wildlife in protected areas in Uzbekistan.