Lynx needs help: too few animals for a steady stock

Lynx Day

Lynx needs help: Too few animals for a stable population

Updated: 06/11/2022 08:06

| Reading time: 4 minutes


Brush ears and bristles are among the typical features of the lynx.

Photo: Ole Anders / Lynx Project Harz

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The Environmental Conservation Union is calling for more support for the lynx population. There are only about 130 adult animals in all of Germany.

On the occasion of World Lynx Day on June 11, the German Confederation for the Environment and Conservation of Nature (BUND) has called for more active support for the endangered eared lynx in Germany. The lynx roams through the Bavarian Forest, the Harz Mountains and the Palatinate Forest again – a great success in protecting the species.

But these three sediments are isolated from each other. In general, there are only about 125 to 135 adult lynxes in Germany – too few for the settled population. A recent study found that inbreeding and genetic impoverishment are a problem.

Lynx is back in Germany

“The lynx is back in Germany. But they desperately need help to be able to spread again across our sprawling land. The lynxes that are so isolated must be exchanged,” BUND’s Wildlife Expert Frederic Schulz says.

Lynxes are not very keen on migration and react sensitively to the fragmentation of the landscape caused by the roads. It has stagnated for years. Many lynxes are run over, others die of diseases or are killed illegally. More relocation projects are urgently needed to finally tie the lynx together. This requires open dialogue and information to engage the population. In order to be able to migrate better, the lynx and all other wild animals depend on the habitats connected to the network. We need more road crossing aids such as green bridges and underpasses. “Unlawful killings must always be monitored,” Schultz said.

A study by BUND and the University of Freiburg showed that central Germany and especially the Thuringian forest play a major role in the networking of lynx populations. If there were a constant number of lynxes in the Thuringian Forest, the area could become a lynx center in Germany. So BUND has launched new projects in Thuringia and Saxony as part of its “Luchsland Germany” project – in addition to long-term activities in Bavaria and Hesse.

New lynx enclosure scheme

In Thuringia, BUND Thüringen and the WWF are together exploring the possibilities of a new reintroduction project. There are also plans to build a custom-built enclosure and incision in the BUND wildcat village in Hütscheroda. With this enclosure, Wildcat Village would like to become part of a network of zoos and game enclosures, which has embraced the cause of lynx breeding suitable for reintroduction projects. The project is funded by the Thuringian Ministry of the Environment.

In Saxony, BUND travels across the state and offers lynx evenings with lectures and the opportunity for discussion. In addition, as part of the admission study with TU Dresden, it is necessary to find out how livestock owners in Saxony feel about the return of the lynx. The project is funded by the Nature Conservation Fund of the Saxony State Foundation for Nature and the Environment with funding from the Glücksspirale lottery.

see live lynx

BUND has been active in the lynx field for the longest time in Bavaria and Hesse: here, state associations have been involved in political pressure, in dialogue with decision-makers and in public relations work on the topic of lynx for decades.

On Lynx Day today, interested parties are invited to find out more about the new project in the wilderness village of Hauchroda in Thuringia. With a bit of luck, it is possible to view lynxes in a largely natural habitat in a lynx display enclosure. Starting at 2pm there will be a colorful family program with WWF. After feeding the lynx at 5 p.m., researchers will provide information about the lynx project.

In the lynx barn at Rabenklippe in Bad Harzburg there will be a general feeding today at 2:30pm.

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