Next year will be very important for the LIFE Lynx project, because we plan to translocate first lynxes to the Alpine area in Slovenia. By releasing five animals into this intermediate unoccupied habitat at the junction of SE Alps and the northernmost edge of Dinaric Mountains, we want to create an effective population “stepping stone” between the Dinaric and Alpine lynx sub-populations and thus enable long-term lynx conservation in this area.
We are focusing for quite some time on the Gorenjska region, and in the beginning of November, we signed an important agreement with the Nomenj – Gorjuše Hunting Club. Their hunting ground is on the Jelovica and Pokljuka plateaus, which are in the southern part of SE Alps and are thus most suitable for connecting the two lynx populations.
Local hunters are aware that lynx were present here in the past and want to be included in this historic event of restoring nature’s rightful inhabitant.
Peter Benedik, president of Nomenj – Gorjuše Hunting Club, The lynx used to be present in our hunting ground, which is why we decided to cooperate with the LIFE lynx project. In the last decade or so we had some signs of lynx presence in this area; the last firm proof was in 2014, when a lynx was killed in a car accident. We have to consider also that we – the hunters are also environmentalists, and that we brought the lynx to Slovenia in 1973, and now we have another chance to help him. And by doing this, we will also gain new knowledge about the species. There is fear among hunters what will happen to the prey species (roe deer, chamois, mouflon), but I think that we humans have a bigger impact on these species than the lynx.