European Rewilding Network

Reintroduction of lynx in the Palatinate Forest Biosphere Reserve

A sub-population of  lynx is to be re-established in the Palatinate Forest, Germany. The area is part of the German/French transboundary UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Palatinate Forest / Vosges du Nord. Reintroduced lynxes may disperse to the Vosges and enable genetic exchanges with the subpopulations in the Jura Mountains and the Alps.

Project: Reintroduction of lynx in the Palatinate Forest Biosphere Reserve
Region: Biosphere Reserve Palatinate Forest "Biosphärenreservat Pfälzerwald"
Type of protection: UNESCO MAB Biosphere Reserve, 36.000 ha are part of the Natura 2000 Network (Species and Habitats Directive)
Keystone species: roe deer, red deer, wild boar
Aim and vision: Restore the function of predation in the ecosystem, re-establish evolutionary processes by establishing a reproducing sub-population of the lynx (Lynx lynx carpathicus) in the Palatinate Forest.
To achieve a self-sustained, long term public acceptance of the lynx in the regions Palatinate-Forest, Alsace and Lorraine.
To increase the permeability of traffic infrastructure at the level of land-use planning in the Palatinate Forest, further in other low range mountains in Rhineland-Palatinate.
Uniqueness of the project: Very early involvement of all interest groups in multi-stakeholder-dialogues created a sound support before the start of the re-introduction. Research on the behaviour of prey species (roe deer and red deer) on 180.000 ha before and after the return of the lynx will allow for objective discussions
Other activities: Community involved, Eco tourism, Education, Research
Results you aim to accomplish in 10 years from now on: 20 lynxes have been released and established home ranges in the Palatinate Forest / Vosges du Nord. The sub-population is reproducing and is growing to the expected number of 45 individuals.
The close cooperation with German and French stakeholders (especially hunters, shepherds or other livestock owners) has established a self-contained, long-term acceptance of the lynx.

Results so far: Different feasibility studies conducted on behalf of the state Rhineland-Palatinate document the suitability of the Palatinate Forest in connection with Northern Vosges for a reintroduction of the lynx. An active release of the lynx to the German part of the Biosphere Reserve Palatinate Forest / Vosges du Nord is recommended.
The nature conservation experts of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) assessed the plans very positively.
Office established, communications and educational programs running, preparations for catch and release ongoing.
Inspirational value: Reintroduction of a key predator species, on scientific grounds and enclosed in close collaboration with local stakeholders and with a keen eye on increasing public acceptance
Experience you would like to share: Managing multistakeholder diaologues, legal and logistical aspects of translocation of wild animals.
Experience you would like to gain: Managing multistakeholder diaologues, legal and logistical aspects of translocation of wild animals.
Map
Country
Germany
Start year
01.01.2015
Size (ha)
179,000 ha on the German side; 302,800 ha in the entire UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
Area type
Temperate deciduous forest
Natural process
Predation
Flagship species
Lynx

A sub-population of  lynx is to be re-established in the Palatinate Forest, Germany. The area is part of the German/French transboundary UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Palatinate Forest / Vosges du Nord. Reintroduced lynxes may disperse to the Vosges and enable genetic exchanges with the subpopulations in the Jura Mountains and the Alps.

Map
Country
Germany
Start year
01.01.2015
Size (ha)
179,000 ha on the German side; 302,800 ha in the entire UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
Area type
Temperate deciduous forest
Natural process
Predation
Flagship species
Lynx
Specification
Project: Reintroduction of lynx in the Palatinate Forest Biosphere Reserve
Region: Biosphere Reserve Palatinate Forest "Biosphärenreservat Pfälzerwald"
Type of protection: UNESCO MAB Biosphere Reserve, 36.000 ha are part of the Natura 2000 Network (Species and Habitats Directive)
Keystone species: roe deer, red deer, wild boar
Description
Aim and vision: Restore the function of predation in the ecosystem, re-establish evolutionary processes by establishing a reproducing sub-population of the lynx (Lynx lynx carpathicus) in the Palatinate Forest.
To achieve a self-sustained, long term public acceptance of the lynx in the regions Palatinate-Forest, Alsace and Lorraine.
To increase the permeability of traffic infrastructure at the level of land-use planning in the Palatinate Forest, further in other low range mountains in Rhineland-Palatinate.
Uniqueness of the project: Very early involvement of all interest groups in multi-stakeholder-dialogues created a sound support before the start of the re-introduction. Research on the behaviour of prey species (roe deer and red deer) on 180.000 ha before and after the return of the lynx will allow for objective discussions
Other activities: Community involved, Eco tourism, Education, Research
Achievements
Results you aim to accomplish in 10 years from now on: 20 lynxes have been released and established home ranges in the Palatinate Forest / Vosges du Nord. The sub-population is reproducing and is growing to the expected number of 45 individuals.
The close cooperation with German and French stakeholders (especially hunters, shepherds or other livestock owners) has established a self-contained, long-term acceptance of the lynx.

Results so far: Different feasibility studies conducted on behalf of the state Rhineland-Palatinate document the suitability of the Palatinate Forest in connection with Northern Vosges for a reintroduction of the lynx. An active release of the lynx to the German part of the Biosphere Reserve Palatinate Forest / Vosges du Nord is recommended.
The nature conservation experts of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) assessed the plans very positively.
Office established, communications and educational programs running, preparations for catch and release ongoing.
Exchange
Inspirational value: Reintroduction of a key predator species, on scientific grounds and enclosed in close collaboration with local stakeholders and with a keen eye on increasing public acceptance
Experience you would like to share: Managing multistakeholder diaologues, legal and logistical aspects of translocation of wild animals.
Experience you would like to gain: Managing multistakeholder diaologues, legal and logistical aspects of translocation of wild animals.
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