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Recovery of the Alpine lynx Lynx lynx metapopulation

  • Anja Molinari-Jobin (a1), Eric Marboutin (a2), Sybille Wölfl (a3), Manfred Wölfl (a4), Paolo Molinari (a5), Michael Fasel (a6), Ivan Kos (a7), Mateja Blažič (a8), Christine Breitenmoser (a1), Christian Fuxjäger (a9), Thomas Huber (a10), Iztok Koren (a11) and Urs Breitenmoser (a12)...
Abstract

We use the case of the Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx in the Alps to discuss how to implement existing directives and recommendations, as well as how to integrate biological concepts, into practical conservation and wildlife management. Since 1995 the occurrence of lynx in the Alpine countries has been monitored and reported by the Status and Conservation of the Alpine Lynx Population expert group. Both the area of occupancy and the estimated number of individuals increased from 1995–1999 to 2000–2004. The estimated number of lynx is 120–150 across the Alps and the area of occupancy 27,800 km2, in six distinct sub-areas. In the highly fragmented Alpine habitat lynx populations expand slowly, even in situations of high local density and when suitable habitat is available. Thus, almost 40 years after the first reintroduction, < 20% of the Alps have been recolonized by lynx. In addition to biological and ecological factors, the persistent disagreements about the return of the lynx between conservationists and other land-users, including livestock breeders and hunters, and the political fragmentation of the Alps (with different regional priorities and large carnivore policies), has prevented the creation of a consensus regarding pan-Alpine conservation goals for the lynx and the implementation of conservation measures such as translocations and reintroductions. We discuss possible approaches in the light of new guidelines for population level management plans for large carnivores recently developed on behalf of the European Commission.

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Corresponding author
*KORA, Thunstrasse 31, 3074 Muri, Switzerland. E-mail a.molinari@kora.ch
References
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Oryx
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