According to an population assessment by the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), the number of lynxes in Finland amounted to 2,355–2,495 before the opening of the 2017/2018 hunting season. This assessment does not include cubs born in the spring.

Compared to the previous years, the population has decreased somewhat, or remained stable. The population decreased most in in Central Finland, Kainuu and outside reindeer management area of Oulu. The population has increased clearly in Pohjois-Savo and Etelä-Savo.

Statements by Luke on the assessments of population size are available at Riistahavainnot.fi (in Finnish).

Research lays the foundation for the management of the lynx population

In May and June of each year, Luke produces an estimate on the lynx population size. Researchers also investigate the age and gender distribution, of the lynx population. In addition to gaining information on the behaviour of the lynx, such as its food, travel patterns and the use of its habitat, the lynx’s coexistence with humans is an important study area. Acting in collaboration with the Finnish Wildlife Agency, Luke compiles annual statistics on the number of lynxes killed by hunters and of natural causes.

Research results build the foundation for the management of the lynx population: such information is used when deciding on the lynx hunting quota. International obligations, such as the EU Habitats Directive, require the size of the lynx population to be monitored.

With regard to large carnivores, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is the leading and highest supervisory authority in Finland. The Finnish Wildlife Agency is in charge for the implementation of Finland’s game policy, promoting sustainable game management and providing support for local regional game councils.

Photo on top of the page: Vastavalo