Wildlife Research and Conservation

Jan - a lynx from the Novohradské mountains

We introduce Jan, a new tomcat, living in the Novohradské Mountains - a living example of the fact that lynx are indifferent to country borders.

Born in the spring of 2014, he grew up in the eastern part of the Bavarian Forest National Park. He was one of two kittens of known cat Silva and he spent the first year of his life living with his family. After this, however, he left to find his own territory. On his journey, in Autumn 2015, he was recorded on the Austrian side of the border, not far from Freistadt. We can only assume he didn’t like it very much there so moved further east. From January 2016, we have captured him on our cameras in the Novohradské Mountains. He was especially popular with another known cat, Jiskra, during the mating season so we will see if he settles permanently here.

Jan, however, is a typical example of the fate of lynx born in the Bohemian Forest.

Whilst he was born in the relative peace and safety of the Šumava National Park, this area is almost “full”, with other lynx already occupying the majority of suitable territory. The young lynx, therefore, is forced to travel elsewhere in search of his own territory. He is looking for an large, forested area which is relatively quiet, however, that is not so easy in Central Europe. In addition to the lack of a suitable environment, he also has two major risks on his journey: cars and poachers.

Up until last autumn, we had not recorded lynx in the Novohradské Mountains and this was probably due to poaching. In recent months, however, our cameras have captured four individual lynx in these mountains: Ludek, his sister Jiskra, Jan and also a new, unnamed marbled cat.

Information about Eurasian lynx on the Czech-Austrian-German border areas comes from long-term monitoring of the population using camera traps. Individual lynx can be identified by the spots on their coats and their unique colourings.

The following organisations are involved in the monitoring of lynx in these areas: Luchsprojekt Bayern, Luchsprojekt Nord Osterreich, National Park Bayerischer Wald, Hnutí DUHA and NP Šumava National Park.

The project Lynx stories is based on grant support from the Ministry of the Environment. The material does not have to express the views of the Ministry of the Environment.

The project is being carried out in cooperation with Beleco z.s.