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Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme

A Balkan lynx photographed in the Munella Mountains, Albania. ©PPNEA/BLRP

The Balkan lynx (Lynx lynx balcanicus) is a subspecies of the Eurasian lynx occurring in western North Macedonia (particularly in Mavrovo National Park and surroundings) and in some areas of Albania (Munella Mountains in the north and Polis-Gur i Zi-Valamara in the east). In Kosovo, the Balkan lynx has been detected only sporadically in Bjeshkët e Nemuna National Park so far. According to estimations, only 20–39 individuals remain in total. Therefore, the Balkan lynx was declared as Critically Endangered in the IUCN Red List in 2015.

Since 2006, KORA has been working together with local partner organisations – MES from North Macedonia, PPNEA from Albania and ERA from Kosovo – as well as EuroNatur from Germany for the conservation of the Balkan lynx.

Goals and Methods

The aim of the Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme is to safeguard the remaining population and to restore a viable population of the Balkan lynx by reducing its main threats: illegal killing of lynx and prey species, habitat (particularly forest) loss and fragmentation, unsustainable hunting and forestry systems. Recently, intrinsic factors due to the long-term low population size and the consequently low genetic variability have also come into focus.

To achieve this aim, different approaches are being combined:

  • Promotion of on-site professional and technical capacities
  • Generation of baseline knowledge: Monitoring and research of the Balkan lynx, its prey and habitat
  • Involvement of the general public and collaboration with national and local authorities, interest groups and local people
  • Foster transboundary collaboration
  • Lobbying for compliance with or improvement of regulations and legislation
  • Establishment of new, and improvements of existing protected areas to preserve fauna and flora and promote sustainable livelihoods and income for local people. These should not only help to preserve fauna and flora, but also offer new sources of income for the local people through sustainable tourism.

Project Information

Since its beginning, the Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme is financially supported by the MAVA Foundation.

Project duration: ongoing since 2006

Balkan lynx habitat in the Mavrovo National Park, North Macedonia. © MES/BLRP

Project area: Western North Macedonia, particularly Mavrovo National Park and areas between Mavrovo, Galichica and Pelister National Parks (Karaorman, Ilinska-Plakenska Mts.), Shar Planina Mts in the northwest and Jasen PA in the central-north part of North Macedonia; Munella Mts and surroundings as well as Albanian Alps in northern Albania, Polis-Gur I Zi-Valamara and further areas in eastern Albania; Bjeshkët e Nemuna National Park in western as well as Sharri National Park in southern Kosovo.

Project partners:

  • Macedonian Ecological Society (MES), North Macedonia
  • Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania (PPNEA), Albania
  • Environmentally Responsible Action (ERA) group, Kosovo
  • EuroNatur Stiftung, Germany

Contact KORA: Manuela von Arx

Further information: https://www.facebook.com/balkanlynx/

BLRP team members at a partner meeting in Peja, Kosovo in October 2019. © BLRP


Issue 01/2021 (EN, AL, MK)

Issue 02/2021 (EN, AL, MK)

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