Thursday, 28 February 2013

How does a lynx cross a fence? Remarkable photos

Rare images of lynx family in Banff National Park

February 2013. Alex Taylor, a human-wildlife conflict specialist who works for Parks Canada, was sent to intervene to help keep a lynx and her kitten off the highway near Canada's Lake Louise in Banff National Park. While on the scene, Alex snapped an incredibly rare sequence of images of the animals as they crossed highway fencing.

"As the pictures clearly portray, lynx are incredibly agile and flexible animals - this sequence is nothing short of stunning," said Omar McDadi, a Parks Canada Communications Officer. "We believe this is the first time lynx have been captured on film crossing highway fencing in this fashion."

Lynx sightings in Banff National Park are rare, though last March a lynx was snapped using one of the park's wildlife overpasses.

Lynx intrusions on fenced parts of the highway are also rare. Since their installation in 1996, highway fencing and wildlife overpasses and underpasses along the Trans-Canada Highway in Banff National Park have helped reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions by over 80% for large mammals (96% for elk and deer). Wildlife fencing has also helped make the Trans-Canada Highway safer for drivers by preventing collisions and reducing property damage.

"In addition to the remarkable photos, this is a good news story that highlights how the public can assist with wildlife conservation in our national parks," added McDadi. "A number of calls were made by the public to our Parks Canada dispatch line, prompting an immediate response from our conservation officer who was able to secure the area of the highway where the lynx were present and help to keep them off the road until they eventually disappeared into the forest."

While the fence has reduced collisions with large mammals by 80% (96% for elk and deer) it isn't perfect.

Please report wildlife sightings in Banff, Kootenay and Yoho national parks by calling Parks Canada's dispatch line at 1-888-WARDENS.


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