Authors: MARK CHYNOWETH, EMRAH ÇOBAN, ÇAĞAN ŞEKERCİOĞLU
Abstract: Current data on the distribution and ecology of the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) in Turkey are limited. Furthermore, lynx in the Caucasus region are likely to represent a subspecies of the Eurasian lynx, the Caucasian lynx (L. l. dinniki). Throughout its range, lynx increasingly face threats due to human activity, with habitat loss and prey depletion being of particular concern in eastern Turkey. As part of our camera trapping efforts to monitor large carnivores in the Sarıkamış-Allahuekber National Park and surrounding forests in Kars and Erzurum provinces, eastern Turkey, we have documented a breeding population of Caucasian lynx outside the species' published range. In addition to the threats above, vehicle strikes, poaching, and guardian dogs also threaten this small population. There is an urgent need for ecological research, awareness raising, and community-based conservation efforts focused on large carnivores in the region.
Keywords: Anatolia, camera trapping, carnivore, cats, Caucasus biodiversity hotspot, human-wildlife conflict, threatened species
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