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Conservation of Eurasian lynx in the Dinaric Mountains and Southeastern Alps

24 Feb 2023 - Miha Krofel, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia | 15h30 - CIBIO-InBIO’s Auditorium, Campus de Vairão
Conservation of Eurasian lynx in the Dinaric Mountains and Southeastern Alps

Eurasian lynx is the largest cat of Europe, but was exterminated across the Alps and Northern Dinaric Mountains around the end of the 19th century. During the 20th century, several reintroduction projects took place across Central Europe, but the species distribution is still limited in this region and most of the remaining populations are threatened by inbreeding. In this talk, general ecology of the Eurasian lynx will be presented together with the conservation work of the LIFE Lynx project currently taking place in Slovenia, Croatia and Italy. This includes the reinforcement of the Dinaric population with translocations of 14 lynx from the Carpathian population in Romania and Slovakia. Before the reinforcement, the Dinaric population was known as the most inbred Eurasian lynx population in Europe with frequent health problems, such as heart defects and skeletal deformations. Beside reinforcing the Dinaric population, we recently reintroduced lynx to the Julian Alps in the eastern part of the Alpine arch. This is the first stepping-stone population in this part of Europe and represents an important step towards creating a pan-Alpine-Dinaric lynx meta-population. In addition to translocations, the LIFE Lynx project focuses on working with local hunters and other stakeholders, as well as celebrity ambassadors to maintain high support for the lynx conservation. With creation of the first anti-poaching police unit we also provided support to fighting wildlife crime, including illegal killing of lynx. In the end, the presenter will share results of the transboundary population monitoring that was conducted in collaboration with hunters to measure the impact of conservation translocations on population dynamics and inbreeding levels.

Miha Krofel is a wildlife researcher and assistant professor at the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), where he leads the Research group for wildlife ecology and management. He is also working as a visiting scientist at IZW-Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Germany), guest lecturer at University of Oxford (U.K.), and external collaborator of the CONGEN research group at CIBIO/InBIO. He serves as a member of three groups in the IUCN Species Survival Commission: Cat Specialist Group, Canid Specialist Group and LCIE. His main research focus is on carnivore ecology, management and conservation in Europe, Africa and Asia, where he has dedicated most of his studies to Eurasian lynx, European wildcat, grey wolf, brown bear, leopard, cheetah, lion and snow leopard. He is also involved in research on several other carnivores, wild ungulates, raptors, raves, lizards and scavenger communities. Homepage:

[Host: Francisco Álvares, Conservation Genetics and Wildlife Management - CONGEN]

"Work co-funded by the project NORTE-01-0246-FEDER-000063, supported by Norte Portugal Regional Operational Programme (NORTE2020), under the PORTUGAL 2020 Partnership Agreement, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)."

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