Multiple crossings of a large glacial river by Canada Lynx (Lynx canadensis)

Dashiell Feierabend, Knut Kielland


Rivers may act as barriers to the movement of terrestrial mammals, which could limit dispersal and gene flow. Glacial rivers are particularly hazardous because of the cold water temperature and swift current. Yet, we determined that 2 Canada Lynx (Lynx canadensis) equipped with GPS collars repeatedly swam across the main channel of the Tanana River in interior Alaska in 2011 as late in the season as November, when the average minimum daily air temperature was −27°C. These observations are consistent with the low level of genetic structure observed in Canada Lynx in northwestern North America and suggest that even large rivers may pose less of a barrier to movement by Canada Lynx than expected.


barrier; boreal forests; Canada Lynx; Lynx canadensis; dispersal; home range; river; Alaska

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