Recovery of the Alpine lynx Lynx lynx metapopulation

Molinari-Jobin, Anja; Marboutin, Eric; Wölfl, Sybille; Wölfl, Manfred; Molinari, Paolo; Fasel, Michael; Kos, Ivan; Blažič, Mateja; Breitenmoser, Christine; Fuxjäger, Christian; Huber, Thomas; Koren, Iztok; Breitenmoser, Urs (2010). Recovery of the Alpine lynx Lynx lynx metapopulation. Oryx, 44(2), pp. 267-275. Cambridge University Press 10.1017/S0030605309991013

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We use the case of the Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx in the Alps to discuss how to implement existing directives and recommendations, as well as how to integrate biological concepts, into practical conservation and wildlife management. Since 1995 the occurrence of lynx in the Alpine countries has been monitored and reported by the Status and Conservation of the Alpine Lynx Population expert group. Both the area of occupancy and the estimated number of individuals increased from 1995–1999 to 2000–2004. The estimated number of lynx is 120–150 across the Alps and the area of occupancy 27,800 km2, in six distinct sub-areas. In the highly fragmented Alpine habitat lynx populations expand slowly, even in situations of high local density and when suitable habitat is available. Thus, almost 40 years after the first reintroduction, < 20% of the Alps have been recolonized by lynx. In addition to biological and ecological factors, the persistent disagreements about the return of the lynx between conservationists and other land-users, including livestock breeders and hunters, and the political fragmentation of the Alps (with different regional priorities and large carnivore policies), has prevented the creation of a consensus regarding pan-Alpine conservation goals for the lynx and the implementation of conservation measures such as translocations and reintroductions. We discuss possible approaches in the light of new guidelines for population level management plans for large carnivores recently developed on behalf of the European Commission.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Virology and Immunology

UniBE Contributor:

Breitenmoser, Urs


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture




Cambridge University Press




Marceline Brodmann

Date Deposited:

09 Jul 2020 09:19

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:13

Publisher DOI:





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