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LIFE Lynx - Preventing the extinction of the Dinaric-SE Alpine lynx population through reinforcement and long-term conservation

LIFE16 NAT/SI/000634


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Contact details:

Contact person: Rok Černe
Tel: 38651317209
Fax: 38614235361
Email: cernerok@gmail.com



Project description:

Background

The Dinaric-SE Alpine lynx (Lynx lynx) population went extinct at the end of 19th century due to hunting and persecution, habitat fragmentation and lack of prey species. It was successfully reintroduced in the 1970s by moving animals from a Carpathian source to Slovenia. It also spread to Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, towards the south-east, as well as to Italy in the west, but after a few decades the population declined, mainly due to genetic deterioration (inbreeding and genetic drift). Urgent measures are needed to refresh and enrich the existing population and to improve its connectivity with other populations, especially the Alpine one.


Objectives

LIFE Lynx aims to save the Dinaric-SE Alpine lynx population from extinction, and to safeguard the population well into the 21st century, by creating a population ‘stepping stone’ and by generating a new population nucleus further west of the current Dinaric population. The Dinaric-SE Alpine population will be reinforced with the release of animals from a viable source population from the Carpathians, so that inbreeding will be reduced to an acceptable level to reverse the population decline. Conservation management will be developed at the transboundary level to ensure long-term viability of the reinforced lynx population. The reinforcement will be a stakeholder-supported process to foster broad public acceptance. To ensure the long-term viability of the lynx population, the project will develop science-based management tools for strategic planning. Thus, the objectives are strongly linked to the Bern Convention, Annex II of the Habitats Directive, and the Biodiversity Strategy 2020.

Expected results: The LIFE Lynx project expects to improve the conservation status of lynx and reverse the decline of the Dinaric-SE Alpine lynx population. The project will:

  • Integrate an additional nine individuals into the Dinaric-SE population;
  • Release another five lynx in the Alpine area and, with this, the lynx’s distributional range will increase by at least 2 000 km2;
  • Stabilise at least 12 new territories (of the males and females lynx present);
  • Decrease the inbreeding coefficient to below 0.18 (now 0.30), with a corresponding 25% population fitness increase expected;
  • Produce population guidelines, an action plan (Slovenia), an expert study (Croatia) and a management plan (Italy); and
  • Increase public awareness about the lynx as well as support for lynx conservation, by means of events, documentaries, educational seminars for tourists, educational trails and other project actions.


Results


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Environmental issues addressed:

Themes

Species - Mammals


Keywords

introduction of animal species‚  environmental training‚  management plan‚  population dynamics


Target EU Legislation

  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directiv ...
  • COM(2011) 244 final “Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 ...
  • Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (01.06.1982)

Target species

 Lynx lynx     


Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable


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Beneficiaries:

Coordinator Slovenia Forest Service
Type of organisation National authority
Description The Slovenia Forest Service (Zavod za gozdove Slovenije) is a public service managing the forests in Slovenia (nearly 60% of total Slovenian territory). Its wildlife and hunting department is responsible for preparing documents for wildlife monitoring, registering and evaluating damage done by protected animal species, operating an emergency team for large carnivores, elaborating game management plans, and administering subsidies for improving forest habitats.
Partners Univerza v Ljubljani, Slovenia Association for the Biological Diversity Conservation, Romania Zavod Republike Slovenije za varstvo narave/ Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation, Slovenia Karlovac University of Applied Sciences, Croatia Faculty of Veterinary Medicine University of Zagreb, Croatia Association BIOM, Croatia Progetto Lince Italia, Italy Technical University in Zvolen, Slovakia Hunters Association of Slovenia, Slovenia Arma dei Carabinieri - Comando Unità Tutela Forestale, Ambientale e Agroalimentare, Italy

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Project reference LIFE16 NAT/SI/000634
Duration 01-JUL-2017 to 31-MAR -2024
Total budget 6,829,377.00 €
EU contribution 4,081,404.00 €
Project location Kontinentalna Hrvatska(Croatia Hrvatska) Mediterr. Croatia (CRO)(Croatia Hrvatska) Veneto(Italia) Friuli-Venezia Giulia(Italia) Nord-Vest(Romania) Centru(Romania) Nord-Est(Romania) Sud-Est(Romania) Stredne Slovensko(Slovakia Slovensko) Vychodne Slovensko(Slovakia Slovensko) Gorenjska(Slovenia Slovenija) Notranjsko-kraska(Slovenia Slovenija) Goriska(Slovenia Slovenija) Obalno-kraska(Slovenia Slovenija) Jugovzhodna Slovenija(Slovenia Slovenija) Osrednjeslovenska(Slovenia Slovenija)

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