Lynx in classrooms and pupils in lynx-forest – a press conference

Posted - Jun 13, 2023

The introduction of lynx is crucial for saving the Dinaric-Southeastern Alpine lynx population, but it is not enough on its own. Working with people is important for lynx conservation, because we are the ones who decide what happens to the lynx population. The attitude of generations of those who will follow the descendants of the introduced lynx in the coming decades is also important. Involving schools in lynx-related topics is a way of introducing children and young people to their hidden forest neighbours.

The project is therefore working with nine schools in Slovenia and two schools in Croatia as part of the Young Lynx Guardians programme. In Slovenia, each school with at least one class of pupils holds a Workshop about lynx, a Field Day, and an Open-Doors Day, during which pupils present lynx topics to parents. In addition, these schools may decide to organise additional activities related to lynx. For example, many schools have set up a “lynx corner”, complete with posters and pictures of lynxes, including the Srečko Kosovel Primary School in Sežana, although the school is not actually included in the programme. The schools also participated in naming the lynxes; Sodražica Primary School named lynx Boris, Community of Schools of the Julian Alps named lynx Tris and Dragotin Kette Ilirska Bistrica Primary School named lynx Blisk. At this school, they collected footage of forest animals via automatic cameras and produced videos of them. At the Kočevje Gymnasium and Secondary School, a student made an interesting comic about the lynx.

At the Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, we are aware that the programme would not have come to life if the teachers at the schools had not taken an interest in it, and were willing to support the already full curriculum with additional content on the lynx.

At the end of May, we organised a press conference at one of the schools involved in the programme – Dragotin Kette Primary School in Ilirska Bistrica – to present to the public how the schools have got involved in lynx conservation.

Press conference at Dragotin Ketter primary schoolin Ilirska Bistrica. Photo: Bernarda Bele

Suzi Avsec, the teacher responsible for their school’s participation, told us: “I decided to take part in the programme when two pupils in class were scared that a lynx would eat them in the forest. Children have little knowledge of our nature and animals; not only the lynx, but also the animals associated with it. I can see that through the activities, the pupils have learned about the life of the lynx in general, the work of researchers – that is, how to monitor an animal, and how we can give back to nature what we have taken from it.”

More posts about the colourful events of the Young Lynx Guardians programme

Young Lynx Guardians from Dragotin Kette Ilirska Bistrica primary schoool with teachers and LIFE Lynx team members. Photo: Dragica Jaksetič