LIFE Project Cover Photo

Preventing the extinction of the Dinaric-SE Alpine lynx population through reinforcement and long-term conservation

Reference: LIFE16 NAT/SI/000634 | Acronym: LIFE Lynx



The Dinaric-SE Alpine lynx (Lynx lynx) population went extinct at the end of 19th century due to hunting and persecution, habitat fragmentation and lack of prey species. It was successfully reintroduced in the 1970s by moving animals from a Carpathian source to Slovenia. It also spread to Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, towards the south-east, as well as to Italy in the west, but after a few decades the population declined, mainly due to genetic deterioration (inbreeding and genetic drift). Urgent measures are needed to refresh and enrich the existing population and to improve its connectivity with other populations, especially the Alpine one.


LIFE Lynx aims to save the Dinaric-SE Alpine lynx population from extinction, and to safeguard the population well into the 21st century, by creating a population ?stepping stone? and by generating a new population nucleus further west of the current Dinaric population. The Dinaric-SE Alpine population will be reinforced with the release of animals from a viable source population from the Carpathians, so that inbreeding will be reduced to an acceptable level to reverse the population decline. Conservation management will be developed at the transboundary level to ensure long-term viability of the reinforced lynx population. The reinforcement will be a stakeholder-supported process to foster broad public acceptance. To ensure the long-term viability of the lynx population, the project will develop science-based management tools for strategic planning. Thus, the objectives are strongly linked to the Bern Convention, Annex II of the Habitats Directive, and the Biodiversity Strategy 2020.

Expected results: The LIFE Lynx project expects to improve the conservation status of lynx and reverse the decline of the Dinaric-SE Alpine lynx population. The project will:

  • Integrate an additional nine individuals into the Dinaric-SE population;
  • Release another five lynx in the Alpine area and, with this, the lynx?s distributional range will increase by at least 2 000 km2;
  • Stabilise at least 12 new territories (of the males and females lynx present);
  • Decrease the inbreeding coefficient to below 0.18 (now 0.30), with a corresponding 25% population fitness increase expected;
  • Produce population guidelines, an action plan (Slovenia), an expert study (Croatia) and a management plan (Italy); and
  • Increase public awareness about the lynx as well as support for lynx conservation, by means of events, documentaries, educational seminars for tourists, educational trails and other project actions.


    Reference: LIFE16 NAT/SI/000634
    Acronym: LIFE Lynx
    Start Date: 01/07/2017
    End Date: 31/03/2024
    Total Budget: 6,829,377 €
    EU Contribution: 4,081,404 €
    Project Location:


    Coordinating Beneficiary: Slovenia Forest Service
    Legal Status: PAT
    Address: Vena pot 2, 1000, Ljubljana, Slovenia Slovenija
    Contact Person: Rok ?erne
    Tel: 38651317209

    LIFE Project Map



    • Mammals


    • introduction of animal species
    • environmental training
    • management plan
    • population dynamics


    • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directive (21.05.1992)
    • COM(2011) 244 final ?Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020? (03.05.2011)
    • Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (01.06.1982)


    • 0 - Non applicable (i.e.species project)


    • Lynx lynx


    Name Type
    Slovenia Forest Service Coordinator
    Arma dei Carabinieri - Comando Unità Tutela Forestale, Ambientale e Agroalimentare, Italy Participant
    Progetto Lince Italia, Italy Participant
    Association for the Biological Diversity Conservation, Romania Participant
    Technical University in Zvolen, Slovakia Participant
    Karlovac University of Applied Sciences, Croatia Participant
    Zavod Republike Slovenije za varstvo narave/ Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation, Slovenia Participant
    Hunters Association of Slovenia, Slovenia Participant
    Faculty of Veterinary Medicine University of Zagreb, Croatia Participant
    Association BIOM, Croatia Participant
    Univerza v Ljubljani, Slovenia Participant


    Type Resource
    Project web site Project's website
    Publication "Collecting lynx noninvasive genetic samples: Instruction manual for field personnel and volunteers" (2.01 MB)
    Publication "Lynx camera trapping guidelines: Action A3: Pre-reinforcement survey of the potential release sites and the genetic and demographic status of residual lynx" (808 KB)
    Publication "Vodi? za pra?enje risa fotozamkama" (1.19 MB)
    Publication "Priru?nik za prikupljanje neinvazivnih uzoraka risa" (1.34 MB)
    Publication "Monitoring protocol for the Romanian source of Eurasian lynx population: A2. Assessment and selection of sites, and lynx, for livecapture from the Carpathian source population in Romania" (803 KB)
    Publication "Protocol for capture, transport and quarantine in the Romanian Carpathians: C.2 Live-capture and translocation of lynx from the Carpathian population in Romania for reinforcement of the Dinaric-SE Alpine population" (788 KB)
    Publication "Monitoring protocol for the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) population in the Slovak Carpathian Mountains: A1. Assessment and selection of sites and lynx for live-capture from the Carpathian source population in Slovakia: D1. Monitoring the effects of lynx removal for translocations on the source populations" (1.20 MB)
    Publication "Linee guida per il campionamento genetico non invasivo" (0.98 MB)
    Video link "New hope for the lynx - The story of Mala" (3'53) -
    Video link "Release of lynx Maks" (5'05) -
    Video link "Hunter Stories -The Lynx Catchers" (8'27) -
    Video link "Hunter Stories - Legendary Maks" (6'53) -
    Video link Reservanje risa v Dinaridih in JV Alpah pred izumrtjem -
    Video link "Lynx and the LIFE Lynx project" (5'03) -
    Video link "Hunter Stories - Alojzije Frkovi?" (8'35) -
    Video link "Release of lynx Catalin" (4'24) -
    Video link "Hunter Stories - Lynx Through History" (9'25) -
    Project web site - 2 Project's Facebook page
    Leaflet Project's leaflet (292 KB)
    Leaflet Project's leaflet (371 KB)
    Leaflet Project's leaflet (288 KB)