Click me

Balkan Lynx - A Big Cat Standing Little Chance

Balkan Lynx After many decades of population fluctuations, the Balkan lynx has almost reached its all-time minimum. The Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme strives to secure the survival of this critically endangered cat in a matrix of protected areas and in coexistence with local people. This long- term project began in 2006 as a joint partnership between two NGOS from Macedonia and Al- bania, supervised by experts from Germany, Switzerland and Norway. In 2013, the project ex- panded its activities north and welcomed interested partners from Montenegro and Kosovo. Only with a strong partnership, continuous monitoring and local stakeholder involvement will this project fulfil its overall goal - to save the Balkan lynx from extinction. A BIG CAT STANDING LITTLE CHANCE In total four species of the genus Lynx are roaming throughout the Palearctic. Eurasian lynx are average-sized predators. Their length is from 80 to 130 cm, the height around 65 cm, while the weight of an adult can vary from 15 to 30 kg. Males are in average 20-25 % heavier than females. Lynx have powerful, relatively long legs, with large webbed and furred paws that act like snowshoes. The head is round; the neck is short, while the ears are triangular with hair tufts at the end. The lynx' tail is short with an all-black tip. The lynx is exclusively carnivorous species mostly feeding on freshly killed prey. Scavenging is very rare. Their main diet consists of wild un- gulates (roe deer and chamois). Occasionally, lynx feed on lagomorphs (brown hare), foxes, martens and tetranoids (black grouse, capercail- lie). The diet of our three radio-tagged individuals consisted mostly of roe deer (65%). The rest of the meals consisted of 11% chamois, 11% brown hare, 7 % stone marten and 6 % fox. Solitary individuals stay around medium-sized prey for 3-5 days, while mother with 2-3 cubs finish a prey within a day or two. Gjorgje Mirić, Serbian mammologist who dedicated much of his scientific career to the Balkan lynx, made a comprehensive research on its morphometric distinc- tiveness. Among others, Mirić compared and published the measurements of skulls belonging to the Balkan (L. 1. balcanicus), Scandinavian (L. 1. lynx), Carpathian (L. 1. carpathicus) and Caucasus (L. 1. dinikii) lynx. He concluded that the average length and width of the skull of the Balkan lynx is smaller than of the other 3 subspe- cies. BALKAN LYNX POTENTIAL DISTRIBUTION RANGE serbia Bosnia and Herzegovina lynx population in 19th century egro мопьеneg Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) Lynx lynx wrangeli fox 6% Lynx lynx lynx stone marten 7% Kosovo roe deer 65% lynx population in 20th century brown hare 11% chamois 11% ) Lynx lynx stroganovi Bobcat (Lynx rufus) Lynx lynx kozlovi lynx population today Lynx lynx carpathicus Lynx lynx martinoi Lynx lynx wardi Lynx lynx dinniki Large predators are usually small in numbers and almost always live in small densities. In addition to this, they are extreme- ly rare and thus it is difficult to get a hold of the Balkan lynx. In the past years, the project activities in Macedonia led to live captures of three male Balkan lynx individuals. Marko, the very first Balkan lynx to wear a radio-collar, was caught on 14th March 2010. He lived mostly inside the Mavrovo NP and fed on wild ungulates. Riste, the second radio-tagged lynx, living alongside Marko and had a slightly bigger territory, implying poorer habitat conditions and scarcer prey base. Martin, the third lynx is their southern neighbour and was monitored in collaboration with the local hunting societies. The capture of female lynx will considerably increase the basic ecological knowledge needed for the long term survival of the Balkan lynx. Lynx lynx isabellinus The Balkan lynx is one of nine subspecies of the Eurasian lynx described so-far. The closest neighbour, the Carpathian lynx, is on average a larger cat (see skull comparison). The Balkan lynx distribution is limited to the border zone between Mace- donia and Albania with no or very rare presence into the neighbouring countries to the north and south. The critical status of this population is not only its limited distribution but also the size of the population with no more than 40-50 mature individuals, mostly distributed in only two subpopulation. Poaching, prey depletion and habitat destruction are threats which over a prolonged period have brought the Balkan lynx to the verge of extinction. ácedonia HOME-RANGES OF THE THREE RADIO-COLLARED LYNX Shara Mt There are several types of camera- traps, but they all based on the same basic principle - analogue or digital camera are placed in a protective box and equipped with a motion sensor or an infrared sensor. The camera-traps nowadays are a widely used method for studying rare and cryptic animals all over the world. They are an excellent tool to detect presence-absence of a species in a certain area, as well as to make quantitative estimations of the populations of certain species where each individual is easily recognizable (eg. spotted cats). When conducted over several years, this method can also give information on the population trend, reproduction, availability of the prey species etc. Box-trapping is one of two methods used in Balkan lynx study for live-capturing lynx individuals. It consists of a double-door 3 m long and 1 m wide wooden box which has a thread inside used to trigger the closing of the trap. The doors fall in a split second, leaving slim chance for the animal to escape. The trap is equipped with an alarm system which reports each capture. Box-trapping is to a certain level a non-selective method. Lynx life cycle The most commonly captured animals are lynx, dogs, wild cats and badgers, while wolves, wild boars, chamois, fox, roe deer and hares almost never venture inside the trap. Optimal period for lynx box trapping is the mating season (February and March). When the animal is asleep, the team does the following: deploy a GPS/GSM collar; take biometric measurements of body length, tail, ears, ear tuffs, distance between canines, shoulder height, neck size and distance anus-genital aperture; take blood for genetic and health analysis; follow body pa- rameters such as: respiratory rate; hearth rate; pulse; colour of mucous membrane; body tempera- ture; eyelid, ear, corneal and feet reflexes; capillary refill time. orab length of ear tufts shoulder height length of ears body length Bastr a Jar Optimal trapping period Mov Feb distance between canines tail length distance anus-genital aperture Separation neck size Births tarsus joint to outermost ball Box-trapped lynx are tranquilized with a blowpipe. A sedative tranquil- izes the animal within 15 to 20 minutes, while a narcotic brings the animal in a state of anaesthesia. The tranquilized stage lasts from 1 to 1.5 hours after which an anti-sedative is administered for a faster recov- ery. 1lìns Marko Martin Riste Different biometric measures are taken in order to gain knowledge two main reasons: to confirm on the anatomy features of the Balkan lynx as well as to compare Balkan lynx, and investigate the average measurements between the different subspecies individual in order to monitor within the species. Each captured lynx is equipped with a 200-300 gram GPS/GSM collar. The collar itself is programmed to function using the current health status of the two support systems: satellite positioning, using the GPS stored the general health condition of in the collar and then sends SMSS through the GSM network to users, and a VHF radio-frequency that is transmitted in a certain monitoring aims to investigate period of the day or when the GPS batteries run out. This frequency can be located using receivers with kmown Blood samples are taken for the taxonomic status of the Radio-telemetry has become an important tool in studying animal movements (migration, dispersal and home-range), behaviour, resource selection, social organiza- tion etc. Home-ranges, areas where animals live and travel, are computed by taking into account all the GPS positions collected from one lynx and then transferred into Minimum Convex Polygon - the smallest convex polygon around the data. Of the three radio-tagged male Balkan lynx, Marko was followed for the longest period of 1 year and 1 month and yield a territory of 341 km2. Riste sent information for 9 months and roamed on 434 km2, whereas Martin is still followed in his 324 km2 large territory. The overlap in territories is due to Marko's absence from the area. the population. Since small, isolated populations are prone to inbreeding, genetic the genetic fitness of the Balkan lynx population. MEA MES PPNEA KARA eurONATUR MAVA Protection and Preservation of Natural Environmant in Albania FONDATION POUR LA NATURE b ania 141,3 cm 148,0 cm infographic by Ljubo Stefanov

Balkan Lynx - A Big Cat Standing Little Chance

shared by melovskidime on Jul 24
The Balkan lynx is a critically endangered subspecies of the Eurasian lynx. The Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme is a long-term conservation project between partners from south-west Balkans. The main ai...


Ljubo Stefanov




Unknown. Add a source


Did you work on this visual? Claim credit!

Get a Quote

Embed Code

For hosted site:

Click the code to copy


Click the code to copy
Customize size