Experts estimate there are only about 15 lynxes remaining in forests of Slovenia. In the past, lynx has been, as in most most parts of Europe, hunted to extinction. In Slovenia they went extinct on the break between 19th and 20th century. Main reasons for (local) extinction is probably hunting, but also habitat loss and low densities of their favorite pray, the roe deer.
Experts estimate there are only about 15 lynxes remaining in forests of Slovenia.
In 1973, hunters reintroduced Eurasian lynx in Slovenia from Slovakia. They brought three pairs and kept them in quarantine until they were ready to be released back into the wild in forests of Kočevski Rog. Signs of reproduction (kittens) was seen already in the first year. Soon, lynx population spread to Croatia, after some years also to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy and Austria.The end of 1980s and in 1990s marked the stop of population growth. In last ten to fifteen years, number of animals dwindled, which is why seen in the areas of Kočevje, Notranjska, Trnovski gozd and part of the Julian Alps is a rare sight.
From 1993 lynx has enjoyed status of a completely protected species. Because there reintroduced only six individuals, inbreeding was inevitable which lead to lower ability to survive and lower reproduction success of offspring. Small stochastic events like poaching or injury can mean have catastrophic consequences. Public opinion, especially that of agrarian stake-holders is very important for their long term survival. It’s also important to have suitable habitat, but luckily areas covered by forests are historically very abundant. For lynx, it’s important to not fragment forest into smaller patches as it has difficulties crossing human infrastructures like highways or cities. As a result o inbreeding, poaching, and some habitat loss, the whole population is hanging by a thread and is slowly dying out. To ensure lynx’s long term survival, it’s essential for all parties to be accepting of lynx and to ensure adequate non-fragmented forest patches.
Together with project partners, Dinaricum participated in an INTERREG project DinaRis. All our actions of organizing lectures, publishing promotional brochures and kept presence in the media were aimed at informing and educating all parties who have something to gain or lose with lynx’s presence. In the future we will continue to connect researchers and other project partners. We are interesting in augmenting Slovenian population with animals from Slovakia and Romania.
Brewery Laško has offered to help in promoting awareness about lynx. Our work is being supported financially by donation of 1 euro per hl from sale of special edition of water Oda.
If you bought Oda water, you have already donated a bit for lynx protection. You can also help by spreading the word about dangers lynx population is facing and by not acting now, we will loose lynx again. You are also invited to help lynx through a direct donation. We ensure all donation made will be spent to help recover lynx population in the heart of Slovenian forests. All lynx related news are posted on our website.