The Eurasian lynx was once quite common in most 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, most original populations became extinct or their abundance has been dramatically reduced in the last two centuries due to hunting and landscape changes.
In many areas lynx was intentionally eradicated by humans, but starting from the 1970s, the lynx was ensured legal protection and reintroduction programmes began. 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 conservation is a challenging issue. We humans have already destabilized its populations by altering their natural habitat and by hunting. For a long time, lynx was a highly appreciated trophy and considered as a highly un-appreciated, damage-causing animal. The decline of this species has already caused great costs to society from a financial, cultural, and ethical point of view. Now we are trying to reverse this negative trend through several small and large initiatives. 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 why the project was created and approved.