Niko is the offspring of the second litter of the resident lynx Teja and translocated lynx Goru. In December 2020, we already reported that Niko had left his mother’s home territory and started his journey towards independence. In mid-December 2020, he first moved about 15 km away to the eastern part of the Kočevski Rog. His movement pattern initially indicated that he would settle in this area, but in early April 2021 he moved approximately 30 km south to the Vrbovsko area, where he remained until June 11, 2021. From here, he then moved on to the area southeast of Ogulin and remained there until mid-August 2021. In early September 2021, Niko returned to Slovenia, where he first went in the direction of Stojna but then changed direction and came back to the area of Kočevski Rog. He stayed in this area for about a month, then headed south again, and is now back in Croatia in the Vrbovsko area.
During the dispersion, he has so far covered at least 1,355 km. During that time, he crossed the Kolpa River three times and the highway six times. He probably swam the river, but he crossed the highway via a green bridge or over a tunnel, which shows how important green bridges are for connecting the lynx population.
Almost a year after Niko started his dispersal, he still has not settled, and is actively searching for a new territory. In Kočevski Rog, where the terrain seems to suit him very well, there is already a territorial male, who doesn’t look like to be giving up his territory. Therefore, Niko is moving south for the second time and is now back in Croatia. The data once again shows how difficult the dispersal period is for young animals.