Last lynx released in Gorenjska forests

Posted - Apr 19, 2023

Together with hunters from the Nomenj Gorjuše hunting Club, we released the last lynx, Lukaš in the Slovenian Alps as part of the LIFE Lynx project. The lynx comes from Slovakia and is one of seventeen translocated lynxes that are helping to save the Dinaric-SE Alpine lynx population from extinction. Some of these animals are also presented in a new children book; a writer  and lynx ambassador Desa Muck has written about the lynx’s adventures in her new book, Pogumni Maks (ang. Brave Maks).

With this new reintroduced lynx, we will allow the territorial female Aida to mate with a non-related male, thus increasing the genetic diversity of lynx in the area,” explained LIFE Lynx Project Coordinator Rok Černe. In the Gorenjska region, we are currently monitoring four translocated lynxes with the help of camera traps; females Aida, Lenka and Julia and Tris, who is currently the only male with whom the translocated females can mate. We are also monitoring some of the offspring of the introduced lynxes. A cub from the first litter of Aida and Zois is on his way to establish a territory in Posočje, near the border to Italy.

The Slovenian Alps are an important link between the lynx in the Dinarides and the Italian and Swiss Alps, so establishing a stepping-stone population in this area is of strategic importance for the long-term protection and conservation of lynx in our country,” added Rok Černe.

The stories of the reintroduced lynxes have also inspired writer and lynx ambassador Desa Muck, who has written a book called Pogumni Maks, which introduces young readers to the challenges and joys of a lynx’s life. The main character is Maks, a lynx who, in search of free territory and females, has travelled from Notranjska to the Slovenian Alps and back, showing the distances a lynx can travel. “I’m really interested in how nature works. The more I look into animals, the more they amaze me. There is great wisdom and great clarity in their way of being. I would love to write more books that teach young readers to love and respect nature. I thoroughly enjoyed studying the lynxes and I was able to empathise with their way of perceiving life through the incredible but true story of lynx Maks. I hope I have succeeded,” said Desa Muck.

Release of lynx Lukaš. Photo: Simon M. Pintar