Lynx sighted in Hainich National Park
Europe once offered a wide range of natural habitats for its large carnivore species. Today, however, relict brown bear populations are dangerously small and highly fragmented in Southern, Central and Western Europe. The Iberian lynx has recently been labelled by the IUCN as the most critically endangered cat species world-wide. Wolf populations are under intense human pressure throughout most of their range. The Eurasian lynx has disappeared in much of Europe and even though wolverine numbers in Fennoscandia appear to have stabilized since it became protected, illegal hunting is still a constant threat.
The transboundary Lynx project Italy/Slovenia/Austria suffered a major setback just a few days ago with the killing of one of the two Lynx released just this year. Years of work and a lot of money was destroyed by a devious act of a poacher according to the local Austrian authorities.
Like many conservation issues, the future of Europe’s large carnivores is dependent on cross-border co-operation between nations and, importantly, on managing their interaction with human activities. The challenge of conserving large carnivores is complex and must involve a wide range of stakeholders including land managers, local communities, governments, international Conventions and NGOs. In the case of the WWF project Lynx in the Dinarc Region this failed with the killing of lynx Alus last week.
There are a several examples of slow recovery carnivore species in Europe. A good example of lynx recovery in Europe can be learned from Hainich National Park, Germany.
“The signs that lynx is back in Hainich National Park came this summer. We presumed to have had him longer. Now it is certain!’
National Park conductor Manfred Grossmann said in an interview.