Re-introduction and present status of the lynx (Lynx Lynx) in Switzerland
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Swiss Lynx Project
Publication date: 1998-09-28
Hystrix It. J. Mamm. 1998;10(1)
Abstract A lynx recovery programme started in Switzerland in 1970. From 1970-76, at least 14 lynx were translocated from the Carpathian Mountains into the Swiss Alps. Another re-introduction took place in the Jura Mountains, but no corridors exist as a connection between these two popula- tions in Switzerland. The development of the populations was not monitored at first. In 1980 systematic research was initiated, which gradually evolved into the Swiss Lynx Project. Not all releases were successful, but the re-introduction in the northern and western Alps founded a population that covered an area of some 4000 km² in 1981. In the western Swiss Alps, lynx moved into Italian and French territory. Towards the eastern Swiss Alps, the expansion was slower and ceased about ten years ago. During the last five years, there even has been a reduction of the area occupied. Today, the population covers an area of about 10000 km² in the Swiss Alps, of which 50% is suitable lynx habitat. Based on size and overlap of average home ranges of radio-tagged lynx, the population was estimated to include some 50 adult residents. At present, the growth rate of the population appears to be too low to allow a further expansion in range. It is uncertain whether recruitment is sufficient to compensate for the high losses among resident adults induced by traffic accidents and illegal killing.