Lynxes released in Dinaric Mountains
Until now, 10 lynxes were translocated to Slovenian (5) and Croatian (5) Dinaric Mountains. Six of them were from Romania and four from Slovakia. Six lynxes (Goru, Catalin, Boris, Alojzije, Emil and Blisk) have established their territories in the Dinaric Mountains, while Lubomir is still in the process territory establishment. We lost signal from the collars of Doru, Pino and Maks and did not detect them with any other monitoring method, therefore we assume these three individuals did not successfully integrate in the Dinaric SE-Alpine population.
Goru was the first lynx captured in Romania in February 2019. He is an adult male, currently estimated to be around 8 years old. After the transport to Slovenia, he was released from an enclosure in Loški Potok on May 14, 2019. He established his permanent territory on Mala Gora. We can confirm that he is the father of at least three litters with a local female lynx Teja; one kitten (named Mala) in 2019, three kittens in 2020 (one of them is collared male Niko) and three kittens (two of them were collared; Neža and Valentina) in 2021. Each year he also went on a mating excursion but for now, we cannot confirm if they resulted in any offspring. In the last year of GPS tracking, we saw Goru expanded his territory to the northern part of Kočevski Rog and now it measures around 215 km2. In summer 2022, his collar dropped off which means his successful GPS tracking has come to an end. Within national lynx monitoring with camera traps, Goru is recorded regularly, with the last time photographed in January 2023.
Catalin was captured in Romania in January 2020 and released from an enclosure in Snežnik area in Slovenia on March 31, 2020. He is currently estimated to be 6-7 years old. After his release, he established a territory in the area of Menišija, Logatec plateau, Rakitna and Mokrc. On the western side, his territory is limited by the Ljubljana-Koper highway, which he so far did not attempt to cross. Size of his territory is currently 348 km2 and we have recorded the presence of two females there. Even though one of the local female lynx was observed with kittens in 2021 and 2022, we could not yet confirm his paternity with genetic analyses. The kittens however, had the same coat pattern as Catalin, which is rare in Slovenia and therefore makes it likely that he is the father. He also goes on a mating excursion outside of his territory each mating season, but we do not have any information about his success.
Male Boris is a 4-5 year old lynx that was captured in Romania in January 2020. He was translocated to Loški Potok enclosure rom where he was released on May 28, 2020. Soon after the release, he went to Croatia and established his territory (measuring around 417 km2) in the area of Ogulin and Mala Kapela, where he is present since October 14, 2020. His collar stopped sending GPS locations on March 25, 2021, but the VHF collar system was still working and we were using it to locate him occasionally. In April 2022, the collar fell off, and we were able to find it. During the 2021 – 2022 season, he was recorded with camera traps 6 times and he appeared to be in a good condition.
Lynx Maks was translocated from Slovakia to Slovenia in summer 2020 where was released from the enclosure in Snežnik plateau on June 23, 2020. He is quite famous for his journey from Slovenian Dinaric Mountains to the Alps (and back). In the search for his territory, he reached the Austrian border at Karavanke in December 2020. Later he came back south to Menišija where he stayed for three more months overlapping with Catalin before moving to his final home range on Hrušica and Trnovski gozd. The signal from his collar was lost at the end of September 2021 in the Trnovski gozd area. We tried to locate him using VHF telemetry, but were unsuccessful in our attempts.
Male lynx Alojzije was captured in Romania on January 20, 2020 and is currently estimated to be 6-7 years old. He was released in Paklenica National Park on March 13, 2020. He established his territory around Sveti Rok in southern Velebit where he is staying since May 2020. Alojzije’s home range measures around 441 km2. We have continuously been recording two females with camera traps inside his home range. Some of them also had kittens, but unfortunately none of non-invasive samples collected from the kittens could be genotyped, so we could not confirm Alojzije was their father. The area where he is present has very low snow cover so collection of samples for DNA analysis is very challenging. Alojzije is regularly captured on camera traps, he was recorded eight times in the 2021 – 2022 season.
Emil is a 5-year old male captured in Slovakia in February 2021 and was translocated to Croatia, where he was released on 14.5.2021 near village Krasno. After exploring northern and central Velebit, he moved southwards and established his territory on the border of the central and southern Velebit. His home range measures around 248 km2 . Until now, reproduction was not recorded inside his territory so we plan to invest more effort in snow tracking during the upcoming winter season and to expand camera trap locations.
Blisk was released in April 2021 from the same enclosure in Snežnik as Catalin and Maks. He first headed South in search of a territory but soon turned North and found a suitable area in the North of Javorniki. Before his release, a female lynx was recorded on camera traps in that area and in 2023, she is still present there. We hope to detect their first litter later on this year.
Lynx Lubomir was released in June 2022 in the Ramino Korito hunting ground in Croatia, managed by the Rewilding Velebit Foundation. First dataset received from the telemetry collar showed that Lubomir stayed near the release site for the first 10 days. In the next two months he made a circle around the middle and southern Velebit (similar to lynx Alojzije, but in the opposite direction) and returned close to the release site. He stayed in the area of the Visočica hunting ground, where he seems to have established a territory. His territory stretches south towards the edge of lynx Alojzije’s territory. Regarding the fact that he was released and established the territory after the breeding season, we do not expect that he reproduced in the same year.
Lynxes released in Slovenian Alps
Five translocations took place in the Slovenian Julian Alps, where two males (Zois and Tris) and three females (Julija, Lenka and Aida) were released into the forests of Pokljuka and Jelovica. Three animals were translocated from Romania and two from Slovakia. All five lynx stayed in the release area and apparently established territories.
On April 28, 2021 adult male Tris was released in Triglav National Park area. He was estimated to be 6 years old and weighed 27 kg at the time of translocation. Soon after release, he established his home range in the Pokljuka area, which measures around 188 km2. Tris was moving at high elevations, even at 2400 meters above the sea level. Unfortunately, his collar stopped sending the data on 16th of December 2021 and we could not track his movement further with GPS telemetry. However, Tris is regularly recorded with camera traps, which confirms he is still actively patrolling his territory. In 2022, he mated with local female Julija, who was afterwards recorded with three kittens. By capturing one of them and fitting it with a telemetry collar, enabled us to genetically confirm that Tris is its father.
Lenka is an adult female lynx that was captured in Slovakia and released in Pokljuka (Slovenia) together with Tris and Julija. After the release, she stayed in the Pokljuka, where she established her territory. She is sharing her territory with translocated male Tris and, at least in the beginning also with translocated female Julija, which is not very common in lynx territorial behavior. At one of the Julija’s kill sites, Lenka was recorded scavenging. Unfortunately, her collar stopped sending data on December 12, 2021, which prevented us from following her further with telemetry. After the collar malfunction, Lenka is being recorded with camera traps in the Southern side of the Triglav National park, so far without any kittens.
Adult female lynx Julija was captured in Slovakia and released in Pokljuka (Slovenia), together with Tris and Lenka on April 28, 2021. At the time of translocation, she was pregnant. Soon after the release we could detect denning behavior, however, we did not detect any kittens when Julija started moving. She established her territory in Pokljuka and Mežakla; the Northern part of the Triglav National Park. Most of her home range is shared with male lynx Tris and measures around 134 km2. In mating season 2022, they mated; however, also lynx Zois visited her during that period during his mating excursion. In May 2022, she gave birth to three kittens, which were still alive in January 2023. One of the adolescent kittens, Meri, was captured and fitted with a telemetry collar outside Julija’s territory. After the capture, the kitten has not reunited with Julija and is in the process of dispersal.
Zois is an adult male that was captured in Romania and transported to Slovenia to the Jelovica enclosure where he was released on April 26, 2021. After the release, he stayed in the Jelovica area where he established his home range. Soon after the release, he mated with translocated female Aida, who later gave birth to three kittens. In mating season 2022, he again mated with female Aida and then went on an excursion to Pokljuka where he stayed for one week before returning to his home range in Jelovica. Zois’ collar stopped sending the data on April 28, 2022, one year before the scheduled collar drop off. Since then, we also did not detect him anymore on camera traps or during snow tracking. With two successful reproductions with Aida, Zois contributed to the development of the stepping stone population, however his current status remains unclear.
Lynx Aida was captured in Romania, and was the first female lynx captured in the scope of the LIFE Lynx project. She was estimated to be two years old and weighed 16 kg at the time of the capture. After translocations to Slovenia, she was released simultaneously with male Zois on April 26, 2021. Same as Zois, she stayed in the area, where she established her home range, which measures around 208 km2. Until end of 2022, she had two lynx litters, both with lynx Zois. In autumn 2022 her collar was replaced with a new one, however has stopped working soon after so we will rely on other monitoring methods for further assessment of her contribution to the development of the alpine stepping stone population.