Lynx Workshop
Big Piney, Wyoming
November 2-3, 2000
 
Meeting sponsored by:  The US Forest Service,
The Wildife Society, and
The Society of American Foresters 
 
Purpose:
- To better understand the issues concerning the management of lynx and lynx habitat and the opportunites for and implications on forest management;
- To foster professional interaction between wildlife biologists and foresters.

Day 1 was an indoor session with presentations by:

Day 2 began at 7am at Stanley junction for a trip to the Wyoming range on the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

Once on site the group looked at lynx habitat in the southern most known currently occupied habitat.

Current high quality foraging habitat consists of sapling sized lodgepole pine / subalpine fir stands that were created by previous harvest activities.

To be good foraging habitat, the trees must be above the winter snow pack, and the live limbs of the trees must reach the snow pack (not have self-pruned above the snowpack).  This provides habitat for snowshoe hares, a prime prey base for the lynx.

Ramon Borrego, Bridger-Teton National Forest Wildlife Biologist, lead most of the discussion on Day 2.

The group was able to view lynx denning habitat at the site of a known den of previous years.  The den site was in an "old-growth" lodgepole pine / subalpine fir stand, adjacent to high quality foraging habitat.

A necessary component of denning habitat is significant amounts of down woody debris, under which the lynx makes its den.  Based upon denning locations that have been located, woody debris does not need to be large to satisfy the needs of the lynx.

One of the hair snares for surveying for lynx presence was inspected by the group.  It consists of 1) a scented carpet square attached to a tree with nails protruding from the square to catch hair samples, 2) a tin plate strung from a tree branch as a visual attractant, and 3) a scent panel suspended above the tin plate to better disperse the attractant scent.
In wrap up, Jim Claar and Ramon Borrego discussed management implications with the group.

Snowshoe Hare Habitat Window
John Shaw, Utah State University

The diagram is a schematic of the shape of a snowshoe hare habitat window (green shaded area) based on stand density and height.  Snowshoe hare habitat is present when a stand provides adequate vertical and horizontal cover at a height above typical maximum winter snowpack (height represented by dashed line).  A stand moves out of the hare habitat window when the base of the live canopy rises (crown lifts) higher than hares can reach from the top of maximum snowpack.  In very open stands, adequate cover will never be attained because tree crowns are too far apart (region A).  Very dense stands (region B) will provide adequate horizontal cover as soon as they are tall enough.  However, they will not maintain horizontal cover for long because high stem density causes crowns to lift early.  Stands of intermediate density (region C) will provide adequate horizontal cover slightly later than very dense stands, because canopy closure is slightly delayed at wider spacing.  However, crowns will not lift as quickly and these stands should provide a longer habitat window.  The arrows represent stand trajectories at different initial (or post-thinning) densities, and the length of the arrow within the hare habitat zone is roughly proportional to the time that habitat will be suitable.  Note that the axes are not labeled.  We are analyzing data from young lodgepole pine stands to determine the stem density range that will provide the longest hare habitat window.