How many lynx do we have?

Written by Nicklas Iversen | Last edited 1. June 2021

Before the last hunting season, it was estimated that we had approximately 393 lynx. You can learn more about the lynx population on this page.

Gaupe. Kontrollerte forjhold, men naturlige omgivelser. Langedrag Naturpark, Nes, Buskerud. Ungene er 4-5 uker gamle. Ca. 1.juli 2000.


I 135 år var det skuddpremie på gaupa i Norge. Skuddpremien ble innført i 1845 og avskaffet først i 1980. I løpet av denne perioden ble det skutt mye gaupe, og arten gikk fra å være vanlig over hele landet til å bli et sjeldent syn.

There was a premium/bounty on lynx in Norway for 135 years. The bounty was introduced in 1845 and not abolished until 1980. A lot of lynx were shot during this period, and the species went from being common throughout the country to becoming a rare sight.

The only known populations around 1940 were on the Fosen peninsular, in Namdalen and in South Helgeland.  The lynx was protected in Southern Norway in 1992. Two years later, quota hunting of lynx was introduced in most of the country.

The restrictions on lynx hunting meant that lynx numbers began to rise.

Voiksen hunngaupe. Kontrollerte forhold, men i naturlige omgivelser Juli mÂned 1992. Tunhovd, Buskerud.


In early 2020, before the annual lynx hunting season began, it was estimated that we had 393 lynx.

There were estimated 66,5 litters nationally. In other words, 66,5 female lynx had given birth to cubs (Familygroups/female lynx with kittens close to the swedish border counts as half a litter).

Norway’s annual litter target is 65 in total, and the year 2020 was the first time in eight years that the lynx population surpassed the national annual target. The annual litter targets are divided between different areas, called lynx management zones.  Each management zone has its own target for the number of litters in a year. If there are more litters in a management zone than the target number, hunting can be allowed, even if the total litter target is not met for the country in full.

This article has been written by Bjørn Henrik Stavdal Johansen, and in part by Fredrik Lehn-Pedersen, nature guides at Visitor Centre Carnivore Flå.