Are we losing the Balkan lynx?

The Balkan lynx (Lynx lynx balcanicus) is a subspecies of the European lynx and is distributed along the Balkan Green Belt, primarily in the border region between Albania, North Macedonia and Kosovo. Threatened mainly by poaching, as well as poaching of their main prey (roe deer and chamois), and the destruction of its habitat, e.g. deforestation, the extremely small population of less than 50 individuals is in danger of extinction.

For 15 years, the international Balkan lynx team has been striving to secure the survival of the population with the support of MAVA. A major milestone was reached in 2015 when the Balkan lynx was officially added to the IUCN Red List as a Critically Endangered subspecies of the Eurasian lynx.

However, lynx in the Balkans face many threats, and even small changes can significantly affect this subspecies. The results of the last intensive camera-trap survey undertaken at the beginning of 2021 showed an alarmingly low number of lynx individuals. To ensure that these fascinating cats still roam in the Balkan countries in the future, all forces must be joined to protect this species and its habitat.

Find out more about the latest Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme (BLRP) monitoring survey and other activities in the first issue of the re-launched Newsletter.

The Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme is a joint project from EuroNatur (Germany) and KORA (Switzerland) and is currently implemented by ERA in Kosovo, MES in North Macedonia and PPNEA in Albania.

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