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Depredation

According to the Swiss lynx concept (DE, FR, IT), damage caused by lynx to livestock and agriculture crops are to be compensated by the Confederation (80%) and the respective canton (20%). The cantons need to report their information on livestock depredation to the Federal Office each year until the end of October. The Konzept Luchs Schweiz also defines conditions, under which damage-causing lynx can be authorised to be legally killed.

Livestock killed by lynx is also presented in the KORA Monitoring Center.

Livestock killed by lynx as compensated by the Confederation and cantons in 2019 (until end of October), per sub-compartment and animal species.

Sub-compartmentTotalSheepGoatFallow deerMouflonChicken1
Ia Southern Jura321
Ib Northern Jura161222
II North-eastern Switzerland312
IIIa Western Central Switzerland44
IVa Simme-Saane143173
IVb Eastern Bernese Oberland321
Switzerland43245932
1For chickens, the number of cases is presented. Several chickens may have been killed per case.

Compared with the previous year, the number of livestock killed declined by 50%.

On average per year, about 50 livestock are recognised to be killed by lynx and compensated. In the graph above, a marked increased in the number of livestock killed by lynx can be noted around the turn of the millennium. This increase also resulted in the legal killing of several lynx. At the time, there was an exceptional situation in the north-western Alps, which can be reconstructed from a variety of data. In the early 1990s the regional roe deer population was growing in the north-western Alps after a series of mild winters. As a consequence, the still relatively low lynx population started to grow in reaction to the increased food availability. From the mid-90s onwards, the roe deer population was regulated again by the average winter mortality. Additionally, the hunting management had reacted to the increase in roe deer with an increase in the number of permits released for hunting in order to protect the forest regrowth. The vastly abundant food was no longer available to the strongly increased lynx population. Consequently, lynx had to switch to different food sources, which resulted in the observed killed livestock. This resulted in the aforementioned legal killing of several lynx. Moreover, some lynx were captured for translocations around the turn of the millennium, some were killed illegally, and there was also a natural adaption of the population to the lower food availability. With the decrease in the lynx density, the number of killed livestock also decreased again.

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