The lynx (Lynx lynx) is widely distributed in northern Europe, but a large proportion of the population lives on the Scandinavian peninsula (Norway, Sweden and north-western Finland). This means that the three countries have a joint responsibility for
managing the species throughout the region.
Norwegian lynx. Photo: Arne Nævra/SCANPIX
The lynx was widely distributed in the 19th century, but at that time there were relatively few lynx in northern Norway and Sweden. Its distribution probably became more restricted during the 1800s, and by 1920-1930 there were only relict populations in the two countries. In the 1950s and 1960s numbers rose again, and the lynx expanded into parts of its former range. In addition, there was a marked expansion of the distribution area into northern both Sweden and Norway. The lynx thus became established in areas where it had not previously been found. The breeding population in Finnmark, Norway´s northernmost county, was probably established as late as 1980.
Most widely distributed of the four large predators
The lynx is now found throughout most of Norway, but not in the western part of the country. Approximately 69-74 lynx bred in Norway in 2007. The population is estimated to be 409-439 animals.