Symposium for the protection of the Balkan lynx

Group photo of participants at the Symposium for the Protection of the Balkan Lynx in Albania

More than 80 stakeholders met in Albania to discuss protection for the Balkan lynx.

© EuroNatur

To mark the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the programme to protect the Balkan lynx, a total of more than 80 representatives of governmental and non-governmental organisations as well as international experts met in the Dajti National park in Albania from 21 to 22 October. At this international symposium for the protection of the Balkan lynx, there were discussions on what the programme had been successful in achieving over the past ten years, the challenges they still face and what measures will be necessary in coming years if this elegant  lynx with its fine tufted ears is to be saved.

The Munella mountain range in Albania plays a key role in the protection of this shy cat. This is where what is believed to be the country’s last lynx population lives. However, illegal logging and fires that are started deliberately threaten to destroy this habitat bit by bit. “If we want to preserve the lynx populations in Munella, we must make sure, as a matter of urgency, that this area receives extensive protection,” says EuroNatur project leader Thies Geertz. The representatives of the countries involved in the conservation project have also taken a decision to improve cooperation between them in future.  The importance of cross-boundary cooperation for the success of efforts to protect the lynx was also underlined by Arie Trouwborst representing the Bern Convention

It’s five minutes to midnight for the Balkan lynx. There are currently a total of less than 50 specimens of this sub-species of the Eurasian lynx living in the Balkans – most of them are presumed to be in the Mavrovo National Park in Macedonia. Ten years ago, EuroNatur set up the Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme together with its partner organisations KORA (Coordinated Research Projects for the Preservation and Management of Predators in Switzerland), MES (Macedonian Ecological Society) and PPNEA (Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania). Together these organisations developed a sophisticated conservation programme whose goal is to ensure the permanent survival of the Balkan lynx and preservation of its environment.  There are now four countries, Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo and Montenegro, involved in the conservation programme.

Find out more about EuroNatur’s projects to protect the Balkan lynx


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