Lynx population in Uusimaa estimated in excess of 220 - detailed count planned for 2012
A large-scale count of the population of the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) in Eastern and Central Uusimaa is to be arranged early next year, with a view to ascertaining more precisely the number of litters in the region.
On the basis of the number of litters, it should be possible to estimate the aggregate population of the mammal.
A similar count was organised in 2009 in western districts of Uusimaa, the 7,000 sq.km. province of Finland surrounding the capital area.
Next year's exercise will involve the participation of more than a thousand hunters, and will be arranged jointly by the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute (RKTL) and Suomen riistakeskus, the hunters' central organisation.
The lynx is relatively common in Finland, and the density in Uusimaa is at a very high level in international terms, with RKTL estimating that between 220 and 240 individuals live in this area.
In the country as a whole, the population is well in excess of 2,000 and has been increasing yearly since the early 1990s.
Suomen riistakeskus has granted 32 exceptional permits to shoot Eurasian lynx in Uusimaa during the hunting season that began from the beginning of December.
The organisation says this is in order to restrain the galloping growth of the population and simultaneously improve people's tolerance towards the animal, which has been tested of late.
Lynx specimens seen in backyards have caused annoyance and even prompted fear among some residents.
The local branch of the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation believes the number of permits is too large.
The Uusimaa branch points out that the carnivore has not actually caused damage (for example to livestock or pets) in this neck of the woods, though this innocence is not quite so clear-cut in the reindeer herding areas in the north of the country.
The lynx is not seen as a nuisance in these parts, but is in fact one of the most valuable wild animals in Uusimaa, the Association argues.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Finland plans to launch intensive hunt to reduce lynx population (16.11.2010)
Xena the GPS-collar lynx stopped by in Vuosaari for a city-rabbit snack last summer (22.12.2009)
Eurasian Lynx (Wikipedia)
Game and Fisheries Research Institute (RKTL)