Protecting lynx in Germany

The gulf between dream and realisation

© Gunther Willinger
© Gunther Willinger

The goal is to see the lynx re-established in the German Uplands and the Bavarian Alps by 2020. This at least is what is prescribed by the German Government in its strategy for biodiversity, set out in November 2007. A noble goal indeed, but at present there are only reports of lynx with offspring in the Harz and the Bavarian Forest on the borders to the Czech Republic and Austria. And even in these populations it is not clear whether they will prove able to survive. Reports of lynx sightings in other areas are only of lone individuals.

Necessary steps
Without human aid these lithe predators will not be able to regain their habitat in all the German Uplands. To enable the return of the big cats the authorities must urgently formulate clear-cut goals and a lynx action plan has to be worked out for Germany as a whole and for its separate Länder (federal states). The next important step will then be to implement it consistently at the federal state level.

What actions is EuroNatur taking for lynxes in Germany?


  • Keeping a close eye on lynxes: working with the Institute for Landscape Management at the Albert-Ludwigs University in Freiburg we have analysed and evaluated the situation of lynxes in Germany as part of a project sponsored by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)
  • Filling in the gaps in our knowledge: we have compiled and put forward suggestions on how to fill in the large gaps in our knowledge of the ecology and distribution behaviour of lynxes and how to monitor lynx populations in Germany successfully.
  • Smoothing the path for the lynx: to enable a successful return of the lynx to Germany we have developed concrete recommendations for an effective lynx management.
  • Speaking out for the lynx: using political lobbying we are exerting powerful influence on the development of a lynx action plan for the Federal State of Germany and the separate Länder.

Partners:  Baden-Württemberg Lynx working group(AG Luchs Baden-Württemberg)

Sponsoring: EuroNatur donors and sponsors

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