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Up to 80 lynxes inhabit Šumava, wander between three countries

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Prague, May 2 (CTK) – Experts from the Czech Republic, Austria and Germany will monitor the lynch population in the Sumava mountain range, southwest Bohemia, and the adjacent Bavarian Forest within the 3Lynx project aimed to find out the number of lynxes and its annual increase in the area in the months to come.

At present, experts estimated the number of lynxes at 60 to 80.

“The Sumava population of the lynx inhabits the mountainous areas beginning with [Bohemia’s] Slavkovsky les and Brdy up to Novohradske hory, and further spreading in Upper Austria up to Linz and in Bavaria up to Regensburg and Wurzburg. The lynx mainly occurs in the national parks of Sumava and Bavarian Forest,” says a report of the Czech Environment Ministry.

A previous research showed that lynxes almost never live in only one of the three countries but each wanders dozens of kilometres, including across state borders.

That is why the three countries need to cooperate on the lynx monitoring and protection.

The environmentalists have installed photo traps in various places and want to monitor lynxes, who can be distinguished from each other by their individual fur colour. The snaps will thus enable experts to see how individual lynxes migrate, whether they have offspring or whether they are no longer alive.

“The possibility to distinguish individual lynxes in photos offers a chance to penetrate the secret of their lives better than in the case of wolves or bears. On the other hand, this means a more demanding work with data, since lynxes are far from eager models…in face of latent cameras,” Simona Polakova, the project’s chief manager from the Environment Ministry, said.

The Czechs, Germans and Austrians have agreed to share the collected data. The agreement has been joined by the Czech Nature Conservation Agency, the Sumava National Park management, the Bavarian Environment Agency and the Alka Wildlife and Green Heart of Europe NGOs.

Tereza Minarikova, from Alka Wildlife, said up to 20 lynxes fall victims to poaching, which prevents their population’s stabilisation and sustainability.

The year-long lynx population’s monitoring will start in the days to come within a project worth 2.3 million euros, the largest part of which has been covered by the European Regional Development Fund. Other parts of the project also involve Italy and Slovenia.

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