During 2018 and 2019, the project team in collaboration with numerous hunters, foresters and rangers, made great efforts to research the distribution of lynx in the area of Lika and North Dalmatia. A large number of camera traps were regularly visited, data collected on lynx presence and genetic material for population monitoring. After intensive fieldwork and exceptional cooperation in the field, the efforts have also yielded valuable results.
On Monday, December 16. 2019, the LIFE Lynx team brought together the stakeholders interested in the lynx conservation topic at the “Malo misto” restaurant near Gospić. The event brought together 15 representatives from different groups of stakeholders who represent the local community living in the area of lynx distribution. Tomislav Gomerčić from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine gave a short introductory lecture on the project and presented the results of the population research in the area of Lika and North Dalmatia, the southernmost lynx distribution area in Croatia. The rest of the meeting was dedicated to discussing the experience of field cooperation so far, the challenges ahead, and Ivana Selanec (BIOM Association) and Ira Topličanec (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine) highlighted a number of issues through which participants expressed their views on project activities and advised the project team on better implementation and further communication with the public.
The positive attitude shown by the hunting associations of Ličko-senjska and Zadar County is of great importance and many collaborations would not be achieved with equal success without their support. Furthermore, the ideas and views of representatives from the Lika Ecological Association, mountaineers from PD Željezničar and elementary school teachers have focused our attention on the importance of education from the youngest and of those who spend their free time in nature and thus can greatly contribute to the progress of the project. We were also joined by partners from the Ministry of Defence and numerous hunting associations which are active in the area of lynx distribution and are participating in population research.
After a productive discussion, the fellowship continued with dinner and we would like to thank everyone again for their great contribution!