Ron Moen is a research scientist with the Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) at UMN Duluth. He studies Canada lynx in Minnesota. You can meet him in our TAO video, “Lights, Camera, Capture.” Ron’s work is especially exciting because, when he started studying lynx in Minnesota, no one was sure if lynx were really here. Ron has learned a lot about where the lynx are, how many are likely to live in Minnesota, and which habitats are best for them. This is especially important because lynx prefer young conifer patches of forest where their favored prey, Snowshoe hare, likes to hide. As the forests grow taller, the Snowshoe hares become less abundant and so do the lynx.
To manage habitat for lynx, we need to work on providing the best habitat through time. The habitat that is best for lynx now will not be in a few years, so we need to think about sites where young forests can be managed for lynx. Ron shared with TAO his winter 2008-2009 field season and the species that he captured during that period. His goal was not to capture the most species in the area but rather to focus on finding lynx. His captures reflect this, so you won’t see as many Gray squirrels as you will in other sites. You will see many species that are difficult to spot and rare or absent from many parts of Minnesota.
We compare Ron's captures with species occupancy lists from Bear Head Lake State Park in TAO. This protects Ron's research and gives us a chance to learn more about the biodiversity of Bear Head Lake.
Ron's data are part of TAO from Dec. 2008-March 2009 . Note that the graph will open in a new window. Close the graph window to return here.
Link to Ron's research site to learn more about this important conservation research.