Monitoring Lynx Alus before he was killed

Lynx ‘Alus’ was found dead without head and front legs in the Saalach lake, Germany, in early September. Cause of his death is still unclear. This incident follows an illegally killed lynx discovered in a freezer not far from the national park in Kalkalpen in 2015.

Alus has been part of an observation project of the Gregor Louisoder Umweltstiftung. He came from the North-Italian area Friaul. A private camera trap took a picture of him and proved his presence in the Austrian-German border area in 2015.

Kirsten Weingard, Habitat – Wildlife Services, managed a lynx monitoring project made possible by Gregor Louisoder Umweltstiftung, from September 2016  until August 2017. The aim was to find out if lynx Alus was also present in this area after 2015. The final report was just released and provided some amazing insights into Alus as well as many other animals caught on the camera.

Each lynx photo of the monitoring shows lynx Alus

30 lynx-observations with 32 photos on 4 different locations around Unken was the outcome of this project. Each one of those lynx-observations and photos show Alus. He was uniquely identified by the pattern of his fur. In most cases he was photo-trapped on the same spot from end of February to beginning of March. This gives evidence for having prey in this area and returning to it again and again. Furthermore this spot seemed to be part of a very frequent and important wandering route of Alus.

Many lynx sights – just one individual

This monitoring project shows that simple reports and observations without proof can easily lead to a misinterpretation over the number of lynx. This might cause us to over-estimate the population of this species. So even though people in an area might report multiple lynx sights, it can be simply the same individual each time.

On May 19th 2017 the last photo of lynx Alus has been taken in the area of Unken. A few months later he was dead.

One thought on “Monitoring Lynx Alus before he was killed

  • It is shocking to me to learn about this cold blooded murder; what can be done to prevent next crimes? what people have such hatred that they commit these murders? I can not imagine this killing was motivated by fear of loss of some farm animals!

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