Slovenian lynx using forest roads as their Facebook wall
Ljubljana, 5 December - Slovenian lynx, a solitary endangered animal, uses forest roads as "billboards or a Facebook wall of sorts" to communicate with other specimens venturing in their territory, a recent study by Slovenian and American researchers has shown.
Lynx favour marking their territory in spots that tend to keep their messages longer and where they are more likely to be seen by other lynx.
Animals, however, tend to increase the frequency of markings on forest roads, which they regularly use for moving around.
Leaving a mark every 90 metres makes Slovenian lynx the cat with the highest frequency of marking in the world, said lead researcher Miha Krofel of Ljubljana's Biotechnical Faculty.
"We like to joke about our lynx using roads as billboards or Facebook walls of sorts," he added.
Researchers believe that road marking makes it easier for lynx to communicate among themselves, but it could also help experts follow the population of the biggest European cat, which is endangered in Slovenia due to inbreeding.
The study was conducted by researchers of the Biotechnical Faculty and the Forestry Institute in cooperation with US biologists over the past five winters.
The results have been published in Mammalian Biology and Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology magazines.