Česká verze

A lynx pair found their new home in Austria

10.4.2017, Šelmy.cz

In March, two lynx were released near Bodinggraben in Kalkalpen National Park (Limestone Alps) in Upper Austria. The hopes are that the male and female could reproduce already this season.

The male Juri and female Aira (both three years old) are expected to strengthen the Austrian population of Eurasian lynx which in the past few years suffered from poaching and trophy hunting.

A lynx being released into wildA lynx being released into the wild A female Aira. Photo: Dominik Sieghartsleitner


"We have been really lucky," says Erich Mayerhof, the director of Kalkalpen National Park. The lynx came from Switzerland and were originally destined for reintroduction project in German Rhineland, namely the Palatinate Forest. Due to the bureaucratic misunderstandings on the German side, they remained in quarantine in the southern part of the Swiss Jura Mountains. Swiss authorities thus had to find a new location for them. They offered the pair to Kalkalpen National Park in Austria.

Both animals are in perfect health and - more importantly - genetic and blood tests revealed that they are not related to each other nor to the lynx in the Upper Austria which were once also reintroduced from Switzerland. The male and female know each other, which increases the chance of them mating already this year, while Juri could also mate with another female in his new territory.

A lynx being released into wild, watched by the public and photographersA male lynx Juri. Photo: Dominik Sieghartsleitner


The lynx in Kalkalpen are being closely monitored also by Swiss biologists. It is the only population in the eastern part of Alps and it could provide a link to the lynx population in the Bavarian Forest. Its survival is thus of a great importance. The newly reintroduced animals are to replace two illegally killed lynx of this population.

Up to ten lynx from the Bavarian Forest regularly visit the Mühlviertel region northwest of here. Unfortunately, the conflict between lynx and some interest groups exists also in Austria. "Some local hunters see the lynx as a competition," explains biologist Georg Rauer.

Other large carnivores are also returning to Austria. A wolf pack settled at the military training ground Allentsteig in Lower Austria. Solitary wolves appear in the Upper Austria. The population of brown bear is recovering in Lower Austria and Styria, although from Upper Austria, the bears disappeared in 2009.



Friends of the Earth are able to carry out projects on protection and monitoring of large carnivores thanks to generous support of individual donors – Friends of Large Carnivores. Please join us here.

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