Meri, the first lynx offspring from Slovenian Alps, wearing a telemetry collar

Posted - Dec 30, 2022

On a Christmas day, we got a message that a trap was triggered and a photo of a young lynx standing in front of the box-trap in Pokljuka. The joy was indescribable, when it was confirmed that we manage to capture the first lynx offspring from Gorenjska region in the Slovenian Alps.

The lynx was sedated, measured, and fitted with a telemetry collar. A veterinary examined the lynx and confirmed that it was a male, weighing 12 kg, and was in great health condition. We also took some samples for genetic analysis to discover the origin of the lynx. However, it is highly likely that two of the lynxes, translocated to Slovenian Alps are his parents. A local hunter who was taking care of the box-trap, named the lynx Meri, which in Slovenian language sounds as you would pronounce “merry”, since we were all happy to get this special gift on a Christmas day.

To confirm the inclusion of fresh lynx genes into the Dinaric-SE Alpine lynx population it is crucial to monitor the offspring of translocated lynxes. We can use several methods to do this, but telemetry gives us the best possible insight into the life of a lynx. In an area, where a permanent lynx population still has to be established, telemetry data is even more important. Fingers crossed that we get more of the “trap-is-triggered messages” soon.

Meri was thoroughly examined. Photo: Urša Fležar, LIFE Lynx

Ear tufts, one of the most prominent lynx characteristics. Photo: Urša Fležar, LIFE Lynx

Group photo of the team involved in the capturing of lynx Meri. Photo: Igor Pičulin

One big jump and Meri was back in the forests of Pokljuka. Photo: Igor Pičulin

Meri’s footprint in the snow. Photo: Urša Fležar, LIFE Lynx