The lynx is mainly a nocturnal animal but it is also active at around dusk and dawn. This animal has two characteristic traits – its tufty tassel-like ears and its stump of a tail. Its furry coat can be coloured either greyish or reddish-brown. This wild cat has broad and large paws, and in the snow they can be mistaken for the tracks of a wolverine or a wolf. An adult lynx can weigh anything from 15 – 29 kg. The lynx is the only endogenous feline predator living in Finland – in fact it is the most numerous predator in our country.
The lynx’s preferred prey species is the roe deer. When pursuing its prey, the lynx can reach speeds of 80 km /h. The lynx tries to creep up on its prey and then when close it leaps forward in an attempt to surprise the prey animal, for example a roe deer, a white-tailed deer or a wood hare. During the winter, the lynx will feed on sleeping grouse. The lynx’s diet consists of small mammals and it may also kill and eat a fox. Like all wild cats, the lynx has excellent night vision. When the snow is firm underfoot, a lynx can travel as much as 20 kilometers in one night in search of food. However, when the snow is more yielding underfoot, the animal does not travel such great distances. As day breaks, the lynx will seek out its sleeping perch, normally one with an unrestricted view such as the top of a boulder or a large rock.
The natural habitat of the lynx is remote, varied terrain in uninhabited forest and woodlands. It nests in spruce-filled wilderness, woody thickets, in forests with elevated boulders and rocky ridges. Its nest will be in an opening underneath the rock or in a natural crevasse made from the roots of trees, or in the cracked hollows of large boulders.
The lynx leads the life of a solitary hermit except during the mating season starting in March when the wild cat seeks a partner. As much as a few weeks before the start of the mating season, the lynxes call out to each other with their raspy roars. When the females are in heat, the males will fight with each other for access to the females. After mating, the lynx pregnancy lasts about 10 weeks and the lynx mother will normally give birth to a brood of two to three pups in May-June.
The tracks recorded are soundscapes of the natural environments where the lynx has its lair, nests and hunts. These recordings were made in the wilds of Lapland, in the secretive and eerily silent forest of Kainuu, from the lake district of North Savo with its mixed forests of conifers and leafy trees and finally from the woods of Estonia and Latvia. On tracks 1 and 17, you can hear the actual sound of a lynx in its natural habitat, not in a zoo or wildlife reserve. In addition, the album contains the sounds of other rarely recorded animals in their natural habitats, moose, pine marten, wood hare, badger, reindeer, bear, roe deer and fox.
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the many people who have helped in the creation of this album. Today more and more people are interested in listening to the sounds of the wilderness. Feedback from my audience has been positive in many respects and very encouraging. I received one particularly moving response from the mother of a severely disabled child. She told me that the Nature Resounds albums had provided her with an entirely new way to communicate with her child. Whenever she played one of the Nature Resounds CDs, the child’s disposition changed dramatically to display feelings of happiness, satisfaction and bursting with the joy of life.
It is very difficult to capture the sounds of these animals since they live in such remote and hostile environments. The extremely low temperatures can damage the recording equipment. Finding a good recording location is also a challenge – you need to be well acquainted with where and when these shy animals move and have a good knowledge of their habits and habitats. I have needed a lot of help to overcome these challenges and I want to express my gratitude to those involved. I am grateful to the Friends of the Kuopio Natural Heritage (Kuopion Luonnon Ystäväin Yhdistys r.y.) for providing financial support for this project – without this help, this project would never have been completed. I would also like to express my warm thanks to my wife, Maarit, for her support and encouragement.