The Eurasian lynx was once quite common in all of Europe. It is a nocturnal cat. It preys largely on small to medium sized forest mammals, like roe deer and hare, so conflicts between lynx and human was not so escalated as in case of other European large carnivores - like wolf or bear. Nevertheless, numbers of lynx have fallen down due to hunting and landscape changes. In many areas, lynx were eradicated by humans.
Since the seventies, a lot of effort has been put in returning lynx back into European nature. Reintroduction projects were carried out along with conflict management activities. As a consequence, lynx returned to some former areas of occurrence. However, this magnificent animal is still endangered by illegal killing and habitat fragmentation.
There is no doubt that lynx protection is a challenging issue. We humans have already destabilized its populations by altering lynx natural habitat and by hunting of individuals. For a long time, lynx were highly appreciated trophy and a highly un-appreciated damage-causing animal. Diminishing of lynx is already a great cost to society from a financial, cultural and ethical point of view. Now, we are trying to reverse the negative trend. There are many smaller and bigger initiatives dealing with this. We protect these animals by law, reintroduce them to areas where they vanished or are vanishing. We study their biology and ecology, we communicate with other stakeholders about importance of this species` protection.
The challenge is to integrate lynx monitoring, conservation and management of conflicts between stakeholders. It is necessary to carry out and coordinate responsible authorities and NGOs towards a common strategy on a transnational population level. With the right incentives things can change. This is the reason the project was created and approved.