Although the first lynx recordings in Hainich National Park were back in 2014, camera traps were able to capture this mysterious animal for the first time last month. It is the first visual confirmation that the largest wild cat in Europe found a place in this German protected area. The discovery marks the beginning of celebration year, as the National Park celebrates its 20th anniversary.
Please also read Wilderness in the Nationalpark Hainich, Germany
WILDForests of Germany
Hainich National Park was established in 1997, and over 90% of the park is not used economically. It is home to Hainich WILDForest, a strictly protected forest of almost 5,000 hectares. Hainich WILDForest is a partner of the European Wilderness Network. The strict protection enables Hainich WILDForest to develop into untouched, primeval woodlands, centrally located in Germany. Following the criteria of the European Wilderness Quality Standard, Hainich lives by the motto: ‘Let nature be nature’.
A special ecosystem in Hainich National Park is the native beech forest. Because of this valuable forest, Hainich National Park became a member of the largest UNESCO World Heritage site ‘Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe’ in 2011.
A permanent visitor?
Since 2014, people found multiple indicators that a lynx was present in Hainich National Park. Only one week after the camera trap took this photo, the National Park management found a cadaver of a roe deer. The lynx most likely killed this roe deer. Therefore it might be possible that the lynx is still in the area. Whether the lynx will stay in Hainich is unclear. A lynx can easily travel 40 to 50 km per day, and its territory can be up to 10,000 hectares.