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Czechs among six European countries to jointly protect lynx

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Prague, Aug 18 (CTK) – Experts from six EU states will monitor the three lynx populations in Europe, including the one in the Sumava area, south Bohemia, before outlining a strategy for the international protection of this endangered species within an EU-subsidised project prepared by the Czech Environment Ministry.

The 3Lynx project will cost 2.3 million euros.

Apart from the Czech Republic, the monitoring and protection of the lynx will be joined by Austria, Germany, Italy, Slovenia and partly also Croatia, or the Zagreb University.

They will focus on the lynx populations in the Czech-Austrian-Bavarian area, the Alps and the Dinar Forest, all localities where lynxes were killed out and reintroduced in the 1980s and the 1990s.

Their reintroduction has been a success, but they are still threatened by poachers and landscape changes.

Some 60 to 80 lynxes live in the Sumava mountain range and the adjacent Bavarian Forest area, and up to 20 are killed by poachers every year. As a result, the lynx population has not been rising. It would need to strengthen to be viable, but the poaching prevents this, Tereza Minarikova, from the Czech ALKA Wildlife environmentalist NGO, said.

ALKA Wildlife, which has joined the project, has an experience with a similar but smaller project of lynx protection. The project, Trans-Lynx, enabled to count the lynx populations in recent years.

Jan Sima, from the Environment Ministry, said international cooperation is necessary, since lynxes migrate across state borders.

Of the project’s costs of 2.3 million euros, 1.9 million will be provided by the European Fund for regional development. The rest will be covered by the states and organisations involved.

Apart from the Environment Ministry and ALKA Wildlife, the Czech contributors are the Sumava National Park and the Nature and Landscape Protection Agency.

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