Conservation of Eurasian lynx

Conservation of Eurasian lynx

Project Animal(s) : Eurasian lynx( Lynx lynx)
Project Category : Mammals
Project Region : Across the World, Asia, Europe
Project Type : Conservation
Project URL :
Project is timebound? : No

The Eurasian lynx is included in Appendix II of CITES, in the Appendix III of the Bern Convention and included in the EU Habitat Directive under Appendices II and IV. The lynx is protected and hunting prohibited in Afghanistan, Albania, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Iran, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macedonia, Nepal, Pakistan, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. In Sweden, Finland and Romania the lynx is protected but a limited number can be hunted under derogation. In Estonia and Norway lynx is listed as a game species with an open hunting season, and in Latvia lynx can be exploited to a limited extent by sports hunting. In Iraq and Russia, the lynx is subject to hunting. In the latler it is only hunted in places where it is abundant. Hunting is not allowed in the Northern Caucasus and in the Southern region. The lynx is not protected in Armenia. No information is available for Bhutan, Mongolia and North Korea.

Conservation measures are in place to improve the perception of the lynx by local people. Better livestock management is promoted and a range of methods to prevent depredation are in place. If livestock is protected and managed carefully, losses through lynx predation can be minimized and human-carnivore conflicts reduced. Measures to counteract the conflict with hunters, are still missing. To address this threat, awareness has been increased and participatory processes initiated. For the critically endangered Balkan lynx a recovery program was launched in 2006 aiming to stop further decline.

It is important to carefully monitor the reintroduced populations in Europe in regard to their genetic diversity in order to avoid genetic impoverishment. Connectivity between small isolated European lynx populations should be enhanced to allow gene flow and prevent inbreeding depression. In Italy and Austria a reinforcement project has started to address these threats. Genetic monitoring is also needed in parts of Asia to detect the impact of habitat fragmentation on the genetic diversity of the lynx.

The lynx populations in Asia are not well known and only sparse information available. There is a need for further research on the lynx ecology, status and distribution in Asia to increase the knowledge on population trend, threats and conservation needs. Additionally, it is important to closely monitor the lynx harvest, where it is permitted, to ensure that the practice remains sustainable.

In some parts of its Asian range, awareness for the species and protection measures were enhanced. In Iraq, stakeholders, students, nature enthusiasts and social media were engaged into measures to stop illegal hunting. In Afghanistan, public awareness has been raised among local communities, wildlife laws were enforced and the Border Police and Customs office in certain parts of the country have been trained to control fur trade. In China, the patrolling by local police was strengthened and a nature reserve network was established. In Iran, a country wide status assessment in 2010-2012 was conducted. In Pakistan, a project focusing on lynx research and conservation education has been implemented in 2010 and the protected area network has been increased. Measures specific for carnivore conservation have been introduced in Pakistan which benefit also the lynx.

Project Agency : Cat Specialist Group

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