European Rewilding Network
70

LIFE Lynx

Preventing the Extinction of the Dinaric-SE Alpine Lynx Population Through Reinforcement and Long-term Conservation

Release of the lynx named Goru from the enclosure in Slovenia.
Janez Tarman
LIFE Lynx project’s primary objective is rescuing the Dinaric-SE Alpine lynx population from extinction and to preserve it in the long term.
LIFE Lynx
Lynx Doru released in Risnjak National Park in Croatia.
Vedran Slijepčević / LIFE Lynx

LIFE Lynx project’s primary objective is rescuing the Dinaric-SE Alpine lynx population from extinction and to preserve it in the long term. Currently, the population is small, isolated, and extremely inbred. It urgently needs reinforcement by introducing additional, healthy animals from another population. LIFE Lynx will reinforce the Dinaric-SE Alpine population with lynx from the viable source population in the Carpathians. In collaboration with all EU countries sharing this population, the project will develop and implement a systematic approach to ensure long-term viability of the reinforced population. Through close collaboration with core stakeholders the project will further develop partnerships and ensure broad public acceptance of lynx conservation. It  aims to develop science-based management tools for strategic planning to ensure long-term viability of lynx. This scientific information will be incorporated into management plans and other strategic documents. Another objective is to improve population connectivity for the lynx. Natural gene flow of the lynx within this population will be increased, in order to avoid additional reintroductions in the future.

Project: LIFE Lynx
Region: Slovenia, Italy, Croatia, Romania, Slovakia
Type of project: Creating space for wilder nature, Increasing interest in the wild through communications, Magnification of rewilding impact and practices, Supporting wildlife comeback
Aim and vision: Increase the lynx’s distributional range will by at least 2 000 km2, stabilise at least 12 new territories (of the males and females lynx present), decrease the inbreeding coefficient to below 0.18 (now 0.30), with a corresponding 25% population fitness increase expected. Produce population guidelines, an action plan (Slovenia), an expert study (Croatia) and a management plan (Italy); and increase public awareness about the lynx as well as support for lynx conservation, by means of events, documentaries, educational seminars for tourists, educational trails and other project actions.
Our vision is a stable Dinaric-SE Alpine lynx population with reduced level of inbreeding.
Uniqueness of the project: With LIFE Lynx project we are the first in Europe to actively, with translocations, help save the lynx from extinction This is the first time in Europe, that lynx will be translocated from a healthy viable lynx population in Romanian Carpathian Mountains. All previous reintroductions were done from the Slovak Carpathian lynx population. We work actively with local communities through local consultative groups, created to build and maintain public support for lynx population recovery.
Other activities: Community involved, Eco tourism, Education, Recreational activities, Research
Results you aim to accomplish in 10 years from now on: Our goal is to reverse the decline of the Dinaric-SE Alpine lynx population with translocation of 14 lynx from Slovakia and Romania to Slovenia and Croatia and establishment of a stepping stone population to enable its connection with other Alpine lynx populations. Establishment of special Police investigation units for prosecuting wildlife crime.

Results so far: Translocation of the first two lynx from Romania to Slovenia and Croatia. Establishment of good cooperation with local stakeholders, especially hunters.
Inspirational value: A successful large carnivore conservation can only be done on an international level with cooperation of all mayor stakeholders. For a successful project implementation it is crucial to maintain good, long term relationship with the key stakeholders, share knowledge with them and include them in project activities.
Experience you would like to share: Large carnivore monitoring and management, lynx reinforcement, large carnivore coexistence.
Experience you would like to gain: Experience from other large carnivore reintroductions/reinforcements, damage prevention protection methods, human-large carnivore co-existence, wildlife tourism.
Map
Country
Croatia, Italy, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia
Start year
2017
End year
2024
Area type
Forest-grassland mosaic, Mountainous
Natural process
Predation
Flagship species
Lynx
LIFE Lynx
Release of the lynx named Goru from the enclosure in Slovenia.
Janez Tarman
LIFE Lynx project’s primary objective is rescuing the Dinaric-SE Alpine lynx population from extinction and to preserve it in the long term.
LIFE Lynx
Lynx Doru released in Risnjak National Park in Croatia.
Vedran Slijepčević / LIFE Lynx

LIFE Lynx project’s primary objective is rescuing the Dinaric-SE Alpine lynx population from extinction and to preserve it in the long term. Currently, the population is small, isolated, and extremely inbred. It urgently needs reinforcement by introducing additional, healthy animals from another population. LIFE Lynx will reinforce the Dinaric-SE Alpine population with lynx from the viable source population in the Carpathians. In collaboration with all EU countries sharing this population, the project will develop and implement a systematic approach to ensure long-term viability of the reinforced population. Through close collaboration with core stakeholders the project will further develop partnerships and ensure broad public acceptance of lynx conservation. It  aims to develop science-based management tools for strategic planning to ensure long-term viability of lynx. This scientific information will be incorporated into management plans and other strategic documents. Another objective is to improve population connectivity for the lynx. Natural gene flow of the lynx within this population will be increased, in order to avoid additional reintroductions in the future.

Map
Country
Croatia, Italy, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia
Start year
2017
End year
2024
Area type
Forest-grassland mosaic, Mountainous
Natural process
Predation
Flagship species
Lynx
Specification
Project: LIFE Lynx
Region: Slovenia, Italy, Croatia, Romania, Slovakia
Description
Type of project: Creating space for wilder nature, Increasing interest in the wild through communications, Magnification of rewilding impact and practices, Supporting wildlife comeback
Aim and vision: Increase the lynx’s distributional range will by at least 2 000 km2, stabilise at least 12 new territories (of the males and females lynx present), decrease the inbreeding coefficient to below 0.18 (now 0.30), with a corresponding 25% population fitness increase expected. Produce population guidelines, an action plan (Slovenia), an expert study (Croatia) and a management plan (Italy); and increase public awareness about the lynx as well as support for lynx conservation, by means of events, documentaries, educational seminars for tourists, educational trails and other project actions.
Our vision is a stable Dinaric-SE Alpine lynx population with reduced level of inbreeding.
Uniqueness of the project: With LIFE Lynx project we are the first in Europe to actively, with translocations, help save the lynx from extinction This is the first time in Europe, that lynx will be translocated from a healthy viable lynx population in Romanian Carpathian Mountains. All previous reintroductions were done from the Slovak Carpathian lynx population. We work actively with local communities through local consultative groups, created to build and maintain public support for lynx population recovery.
Other activities: Community involved, Eco tourism, Education, Recreational activities, Research
Achievements
Results you aim to accomplish in 10 years from now on: Our goal is to reverse the decline of the Dinaric-SE Alpine lynx population with translocation of 14 lynx from Slovakia and Romania to Slovenia and Croatia and establishment of a stepping stone population to enable its connection with other Alpine lynx populations. Establishment of special Police investigation units for prosecuting wildlife crime.

Results so far: Translocation of the first two lynx from Romania to Slovenia and Croatia. Establishment of good cooperation with local stakeholders, especially hunters.
Exchange
Inspirational value: A successful large carnivore conservation can only be done on an international level with cooperation of all mayor stakeholders. For a successful project implementation it is crucial to maintain good, long term relationship with the key stakeholders, share knowledge with them and include them in project activities.
Experience you would like to share: Large carnivore monitoring and management, lynx reinforcement, large carnivore coexistence.
Experience you would like to gain: Experience from other large carnivore reintroductions/reinforcements, damage prevention protection methods, human-large carnivore co-existence, wildlife tourism.
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