Present knowledge on the distribution of the Lynx (Lynx lynx) in Austria
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Publication date: 2001-12-20
Hystrix It. J. Mamm. 2001;12(2)
Abstract To assess the present status and distribution of the lynx in the Austrian Alps we analysed documented reports on lynx presence for the period 1995 to 1999. Records on lynx presence in Austria were collected by the hunter's associations of Carinthia, Styria, Salzburg and Upper Austria, regional NGO's and wildlife biologists. For this five-year period, 106 records of lynx presence were documented for the Austrian Alps. Of these we classified 100 as Quality 3 data (unconfirmed prey remains, tracks and observations) and 5 as Quality 2 data (confirmed prey remains). The only hard fact (Quality 1 data) in the Austrian Alps was a male lynx killed on a highway in southern Salzburg in 1995. From these reported signs of lynx presence we concluded that 20 years after the first reintroductions there still is no established lynx population in the Austrian Alps. The reports rather indicate a few individuals scattered over a wide area. As the monitoring of the Austrian lynx population is more a passive and arbitrary collection of reports than a systematic monitoring, we believe that the distribution reported here is likely underestimating the actual distribution of the lynx in the Austrian Alps. Therefore we emphasise the need to establish a new systematic monitoring system covering the entire potential lynx habitat in Austria.