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Balkan lynx - Critically endangered ''Balkan cougar''

Discussion in 'Macedonia' started by Nikola Chavkosk, 23 Aug 2016.

  1. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Prilep, R. Macedonia
    Balkan lynx (Lynx lynx balcanicus) is a critically endangered subspecies of Eurasian lynx, although there were controversies whether it may belong to sepparate species from Eurasian lynx. Found in Western parts of R. Macedonia, Eastern Albania, Southwestern Kosovo and part of Eastern Montenegro, it is believed than fewer than 50 individuals are left in the wild (the biggest part in R. Macedonia - about 30), and none in captivity.

    This lynx is quite big, with more amber color (between gold and orange) of the fur and with less-defined spots than most Eurasian lynxes or than Iberian lynx.

    There are efforts to conserve this (sub)species in situ, including the Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme ( The Balkan Lynx Conservation Compendium ) and collaboration between ecologists between countries. Several lynx have been captured and radiocollared in the last 5-10 years in mountain parts (wich are subtropical to subalpine) of Western R. Macedonia, and have been taken footages of lynxes from the wild.

    It is uncertain whether this lynx have ever been kept in a zoo, but in the past most probably it was kept in Skopje zoo at least, since Skopje zoo dates from 1926 and had (and have) lynxes at many occasions. Plus there are some national wild animal reserves that can send injured or orphaned wild animals in zoos (mostly brown bears).

    The main reasons because population is struggling to survive are:
    -Fragmentation of population and population with low genetic diversity
    -Lack of food (wild pray animals)
    -Hunting (wich is completely illegal and banned)

    Some nice photos of this elusive cat (including some captures in situ and radiocollaring) can be found on google. I have never photographed this cat :)

    Contrary to Balkan lynx, population of some wild animals in R. Macedonia are thriving (like Gray wolf or golden jackal).
     
    Last edited: 23 Aug 2016
  2. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Captured and released fifth Balkan lynx with GPS-collar, but this time is special: It is the first captured female with GPS-collar. The first four were all males. This is critically endangered subspecies (and after some authors, it presents a distinct species) of the Eurasian lynx, with only 30-50 individuals remaining (estimaton), mostly in the western R. Macedonia, but also in eastern Albania, southern Kosovo and southeastern Montenegro. Article (but on Macedonian) with interesting photos here: Заловена Маја, првата женка-рис (ФОТО)
    The whole project is financially supported by Swiss MABA (Switzerland, a country with around 8.5 milion people, have greater economy than all Balkan states combined, including Greece and Slovenia; Balkan - region with around 45 million of peoples and more than 10 times greater in surface than Switzerland) :) .
     
    Last edited: 24 Feb 2017
  3. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    According to the Cat News Special Issue 11 - Winter 2017 (http://catsg.org/fileadmin/fileshar...3.10._SI_11/CatNews_Special_Issue11_76-77.pdf) , the Balkan lynx is finally classified as a distinct subspecies (L. l. balcanicus) of the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx). This cat, with amber fur color and less-defined spots, is a critically endangered with only around 50 cats surviving in the mountains of Western part of the R.Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro.
     
    Last edited: 13 Apr 2017
    Arizona Docent likes this.
  4. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Feb 2016
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    1,299
    Location:
    Prilep, R. Macedonia
  5. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Moderator Staff Member

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    Situation seems similar to Iberian lynx, which required an intense captive breeding and release program. Let's hope something can be done to save the Balkan lynx.
     
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