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Patrolling for the lynx

EURENI project trains volunteers in the Czech Republic to become involved in territory patrols to protect the lynx from illegal killing.

Apart from the loss of habitat and hazards posed by rail and road traffic, illegal killing is one of the greatest threats to lynxes. For this reason, the Czech organisation Hnuti DUHA offers introductory seminars for anyone interested in actively participating in the monitoring and protection of animals threatened by humans by means of regular patrols as part of the EURENI project “Let Lynxes Live” („Luchse Leben Lassen“).

The contents of the training sessions comprise various aspects that contribute to strengthening biodiversity conservation. Firstly, the volunteers are provided with insights into the typical habitat of a lynx and information about the basic needs and habits of the animal. In addition, they learn how to read lynx tracks in order to determine the presence of Europe's largest cat in the region and to identify any signs of illegal activity, such as snares that have been set.

The seminars thus impart basic knowledge on how to recognise signs of possible violations of the regulations pertaining to biodiversity protection and how to react appropriately. Finally, the participants also learn why patrolling the area is so important for the lynx: the increased presence of watchful people is a deterrent for potential perpetrators, who consequently avoid these areas for fear of being discovered. The lynx patrols therefore help to protect nature and in particular the lynx from illegal activities and to preserve the ecological balance. Bearing this in mind, participants are prompted to organise themselves in small groups and to patrol  the surrounding forest areas as regularly and systematically as possible along routes previously specified.

Woman measures animal tracks in the snow.

At the latest introductory seminar in December 2023, about 35 interested people came together for a weekend in the Michlova Hut near Vimperk in the Czech Republic to be trained in patrolling. 

Group of people standing in a snowy landscape.

In addition to the voluntarily organised lynx patrols, a further benefit of the training programme is the multiplier effect achieved by the interested participants. The involvement of volunteers ensures that the knowledge gained during the training sessions not only remains within the patrols, but is also passed on to families, villages and regions. This multiplier principle strengthens the sustainability of the EURENI project's protective measures and fosters a broader public awareness for the protection of lynxes and their habitats.

Zukunft – Umwelt – Gesellschaft (ZUG) gGmbH manages the European Environment Initiative (EURENI) on behalf of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV).


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