50th anniversary of the return of the lynx to the Dinarides

Posted - Mar 2, 2023

Today, on 2 March, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the reintroduction of lynx to Dinaric Mountains, when hunters and foresters brought lynx back to Slovenian forests. The successful reintroduction, which resulted in an increase and expansion of the population beyond Slovenian borders, was followed by inbreeding due to the lack of connectivity with other lynx populations. The latter could lead to another extinction of the lynx in this area, which is why the LIFE Lynx project is bringing new lynx to Slovenia and Croatia.

Lynx in quarantine enclosure, before the release in 1973. Photo: Janez Gregori

Documentary film Path of the Lynx is a tribute to the few hunters whose enthusiasm has made it possible for Europe’s largest cat to live on in our forests.


Hunters are again playing an important role in today’s reintroduction, and are involved in a number of activities. In addition to taking care of the reintroduced lynx before they are released into the wild, they are actively involved in monitoring the population with camera traps, and the Hunting Association of Slovenia is committed to improving the prosecution of illegal killing of wildlife.

Lado Bradač, President of the Hunting Association of Slovenia: “Slovenian hunters have been for decades, through their voluntary work, taking care of the natural environment of all animals and preserving them for our posterity. I am proud that Slovenia and Slovenian hunting are moving towards nature conservation. As a representative of more than 20,000 hunters in Slovenia, I advocate zero tolerance of the Hunting Association of Slovenia towards the illegal killing of lynx and other wildlife.”

On March 3, we are celebrating the World Wildlife Day, the most important annual event dedicated to wildlife. The slogan of this year’s celebration is “Partnerships for Wildlife Conservation”.

Gregor Danev, Director of the Slovenian Forest Service: “We are proud that we are successfully contributing to the conservation and restoration of biodiversity in Slovenian forests through a wide range of measures. The introduction of the lynx is one of the great success stories, for which I would like to thank all the participants at the Slovenia Forest Service, project partners and volunteers.”

50th anniversary of World Wildlife Day celebration.