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Evolution of the number of lynx in Switzerland 2009-2019. Green = Jura, blue = Alps (incl. north-eastern Switzerland), red = total. © KORA

To give an exact population estimate at a specific point in time is impossible. The camera trap monitoring cannot be performed in all management compartments at the same time. The abundance estimate presented here is an extrapolation of the latest camera trap session per reference area to the whole compartment based on chance observations.

According to the last population estimate in the year 2019, 254 (+/- 12) independent (subadult and adult) lynx lived in Switzerland, of which 75 (+/- 9) in the Jura and 179 (+/- 8) in the Alps. Additionally – depending on the season – there are around 15-30 percent of that number in the population as young animals from the current year which are still together with their mother at the time of the monitoring. Juveniles are not counted for population estimates as they suffer very high mortality rates (only one in four reaches adulthood).


An assessment of the Eurasian lynx in Europe was performed for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in 2018. The total population was estimated at 8,000–9,000 individuals (excl. Russia and Belarus) and 17,000–18,000 individuals (incl. European part of Russia), respectively. The distribution of the total number of individuals into the different subpopulations in presented in the table below. The population in the Balkans is a separate subspecies and Critically Endangered.

ScandinavianNOR, SWEAca. 1,300-1,800Decrease
KarelianFINAca. 2,500Stable
BalticEST, LTU, LVA, POL, UKRAca. 1,200-1,500Slight decrease
CarpathianROU, SVK, POL, UKR, CZE, HUN, SRB, BGRAca. 2,100-2,400Stable
Bohemian-Bavarian-AustrianCZE, DEU, AUTR60-80Stable
AlpineCHE, SVN, ITA, AUT, FRAR140-170Slowly increasing
JuraFRA, CHERca. 140Slowly increasing
Vosges-Palatinian3FRA, DEURFewDecrease
DinaricSVN, HRV, BIHRca. 140Stable or decrease
HarzDEUR46Slowly increasing
BalkanMKD, ALB, KOSA20-39Stable
1A = autochthonous, R = Reintroduction, 2Based on data from 2016, 3Status before beginning of reintroduction project in 2016

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