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17.08.2015: Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme Newsletter online

Lynx in Kosovo! Balkan lynx evidence from the Albanian Alps; Results from camera-trapping surveys in Mavrovo NP (MK), Puka-Mirdita and Kukës (AL), Sharr mountains & Koritnik area (Kosovo), Montenegro, Bjeshkët e Nemuna (Kosovo); Workshops in Mavrovo NP; Education programmes in Albania and Macedonia; Balkan lynx documentary & inforgraphic; PrespaNet strategy; Regional and international awareness raising.

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05.03.2015: Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme Newsletter online

Read about the highlights of our activities in the past few months: A photograph of a lynx mother with cub, our range-wide meeting, the summer camp and Kopranik youth expedition, a Natura 2000 training, the selection of small grant proposals, and a master thesis defence.

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31.07.2014: A new issue of our  Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme Newsletter is out

Stay informed about our activities and learn about the importance of Munella (AL), several camera-trapping activities in Albania and Macedonia, stakeholder forums and a monitoring training course - all taken place during the past few months.

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15.11.2012: Range-wide meeting, Vevcani MK

The presentations from the Range-wide meeting and from the subsequent Workshop on Monitoring & Baseline survey from 1-2 October 2012 in Vevcani MK are now available on the Compendium.

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Picture (© PPNEA/SCOPES)

14.08.2012: Balkan Lynx presence proved in Shebenik-Jabllanica National Park

The lynx team of the Association for the Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania (PPNEA) managed to get the first picture of a Balkan lynx in the Shebenik-Jabllanica National Park, Albania. After many years of investigation, this is the first proof of lynx presence in the area.

Read the Press Release for further information.


Picture (© PPNEA/SCOPES)

24.04.2012: Second Balkan lynx picture in Albania

The Association for the Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania (PPNEA) is pleased to inform you that on April 21st, 2012, the field researchers Aleksandёr Trajçe and Bledi Hoxha, got the second photo of a Balkan lynx (Lynx lynx balcanicus) living in the wild in Albania. The picture was taken by means of camera-trapping devices, on March 28th 2012, at 08:33 AM, in the northern mountainous region of Albania.

Read the Press Release for further information.


08.03.2012: Second lynx radio-tagged in Macedonia

On 5 March 2012 the lynx team of the Macedonian Ecological Society (MES) together with the hunters from the local hunting societies managed to capture a lynx in a box-trap in the Stogovo Mountain of western Macedonia. It is a young male, weighting 17 kg. He was named “Riste” and released with a GPS collar. He is the second lynx [see KORA News from 25.03.2010] captured in the frame of the project “Status, ecology and land tenure system of the critically endangered Balkan lynx in Macedonia and Albania” which is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) together with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in the frame of SCOPES (Scientific co-operation between Eastern Europe and Switzerland).

The lynx in the south-west Balkans, considered a distinct subspecies, is the most threatened autochthonous population of the Eurasian lynx. A fragmented population of probably less than 50 individuals remains in western Macedonia and eastern Albania. “Riste” will help increasing the knowledge about the ecology of the Balkan lynx which is urgently needed in order to define targeted conservation measures. The SCOPES research project aims to produce the scientific bases for the Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme founded in 2006.

Pictures: © MES/SCOPES, SNF



Picture (© PPNEA/SCOPES)

Press Release
Njoftim per Shtyp

02.05.2011: First Balkan lynx pictured in Albania

On 21 April 2011, the PPNEA research team got the first photo of an alive Balkan lynx (Lynx lynx martinoi) living in nature. The individual had been photographed using camera-trap devices on 26 March 2011 at 18:48, in the northern mountainous region of Albania. The Balkan lynx is one of the most threatened wildlife species living in Albania and is classified as a critically endangered species in Albania (CR – Red List of Albanian Fauna, 2007). However, to date, continuous field research, based on contemporary monitoring methods, had not proven the existence of any remaining live individuals. All signs of lynx presence were from dead/killed individuals, which are held as trophies, and from the local knowledge of rural people. As such, this photo represents a great achievement as it definitively proves the presence of lynx in our country and calls for greater and immediate efforts towards their conservation and habitats where they live.

The project is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation SNF under the programme SCOPES (Scientific co-operation between Eastern Europe and Switzerland) and MAVA Foundation, Switzerland.


Picture of capture

Map of locations 14.3.-24.3.2010

25.03.2010: First Balkan lynx radio-tagged in Macedonia

In the evening of Sunday, 14 March 2010, the first Balkan lynx (Lynx lynx martinoi) ever was captured in Mavrovo National Park, Macedonia. The male, named “Marko”, was equipped with a GPS-collar and released subsequently at place. “Marko” will provide important insights into the ecology of this critically endangered lynx subspecies occuring in the border regions of Macedonia and Albania. The first 10 days of following Marko’s movements (see map) have already revealed that the new GPS-GSM technique works well for observing these elusive animals in the rugged terrain of the Macedonian mountains.

The project “Status, ecology and land tenure system of the critically endangered Balkan lynx Lynx lynx martinoi in Macedonia and Albania” is a partnership project between Swiss, Albanian and Macedonian institutions and supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation SNF together with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) under the programme SCOPES (Scientific co-operation between Eastern Europe and Switzerland). This 3 years project provides the scientific information needed for the Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme.


© BLRP/Mirjam Bentele 

December, 2009: End of Phase I of the Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme (2006-2009)

The latest project outputs have been included in the Compendium > see "reports of activities", "press articles", "conferences" and "strategies and action plans".

Thank you to everyone who has supported the Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme these past three years!



April 16, 2009: Proceedings of the Conferences in Tirana, Albania and Struga, Macedonia are now available

Contributions of the Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme:

Proceedings of the International Conference on Biological and Environmental Sciences, Republic of Albania, FNS, 26-28 September, Tirana, 2008.
• First camera-trap survey in the National Park Mavrovo, Macedonia. Melovski et al.:
• Conservation of the critically endangered Balkan lynx - Achievements and aspirations. Trajçe et al.:
• Albanian Alps, Korabi and Shebenik-Jablanica  - the new backbone of the European Green Belt. Shumka et al.:

Proceedings of the III Congress of Ecologists of the Republic of Macedonia, with International Participation. Struga, 06-09.10.2007. Macedonian Ecological Society, Skopje, 2008.
• Strategic planning for the conservation of the Balkan lynx. Breitenmoser et al.:
• Conservation status of the critically endangered Balkan lynx in Albania and Macedonia. Ivanov et al.:
• Conflicts between lynx, other large carnivores, and humans in Macedonia and Albania. Keçi et al.:
• The protected area component within the frame of the Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme. Schwaderer et al.:


June 6, 2008: Strategy for saving the Balkan lynx from extinction
(Press release)

Less than 100 individuals of the Balkan lynx remain in the border areas of Albania and Macedonia, and is considered as Critically Endangered according to the IUCN Red List criteria. Urgent actions are needed for its survival. 50 nature conservation experts from governmental agencies, universities and important interest groups from Albania and Macedonia met in Peshtani, MK, on June 3-4 for a workshop to develop a Conservation Strategy for the Balkan lynx. The workshop - hold under the auspices of the Bern Convention - was organized by the Macedonian Ecological Society (MES) and the Society for Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania (PPNEA) and facilitated by the IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group. The goal of the Strategy as defined during the workshop is to secure a viable population of the Balkan lynx living in a matrix of protected and sustainably managed habitat in coexistence with the rural population. The participants helped with their experience and knowledge to suggest activities how this goal can be reached. All organisations engaged in the Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme ( are optimistic that with such a commitment of all relevant institutions we shall be able to save the Balkan lynx from extinction.

For further information:
Macedonian Ecological Society (,,
T: 00389 22402 773
Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania,,
T: 00355 42 249 571



Izvestuvawe za peËatot
na makedonski

Njoftimi për shtyp në Shqip


May 24, 2008: Proclamation of the natural ecosystem of Shebenik – Jabllanica as a “National Park” (II IUCN Category)
(Press release)

Based on the Albanian Constitution, article 100 and articles 4, point 1, letter”, 6 and 13, of the Law nr. 8906, date 6.6.2002, “For the Protected Areas”, amended with proposal of Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Water Administration, the Albanian Government with special Decision of May, 21st 2008 proclaimed the “National Park” Shebenik-Jabllanica with surface 33 927,66 ha.

Being situated at the bordering area among Albania and Macedonia the new National Park of Shebenik – Jablanica is presenting an important point at the entire system of the European Green Belts.
  From the point of nature conservation it is home of extremely valuable natural habitats, flora and wildlife fauna as well.

The park area is important habitat and corridor for the grand carnivores including brown bear, lynx, wolf etc.

The increase of protected are surface considered seriously by the GO of Albania is reflecting the overall integration policy of the country in Europe.

The PPNEA with EURONATUR being involved in the planning process under the support of the German Federal agency for the Nature Conservation, since the year 2002 were closely cooperating with MoEFWA. This process was greatly supported by the Lynx Recovery Program including partners of KORA and NINA. The continuous support of the Frankfurt Zoological Society was greatly appreciated.

For more information: PPNEA Tirana:;


January, 2008: First Balkan lynx pictured with camera-traps

The Macedonian lynx team managed to catch the first pictures of the Balkan lynx. Camera-traps were set in promising areas according to the results of the Baseline Survey (see News below), especially in and around Mavrovo National Park. These pictures are promising news for the future activities of the Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme.

More information about camera trapping and additional pictures

Although the coat pattern of both lynx looks similar, it is not possible to make a final assessment whether it concerns one or two individuals. For a clear identification good pictures of the same flank are needed.


Pictures: © Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme


October, 2007: Congress participation

The Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme participated with 6 presentations and 2 posters at the "3rd Congress of Ecologists of Macedonia with international participation" from October 6-9 in Struga. The congress, organised by the Macedonian Ecological Society, was visited by 280 participants from 18 countries.

Three presentations dealt with the lynx, three with the protected area component of the project. Main subject of the lynx part (including the posters) was to present some first results from the Baseline Survey (see previous News, below). Please find the presentations & posters including the abstracts
here. The whole Abstract Book of the congress is also to be found there.



August 2007: Baseline survey finalized

Reliable information about the presence of the species concerned, its prey and habitat, as well as on the people’s attitude are a precondition for drawing up a successful recovery strategy. Therefore, a sound baseline survey was the first task tackled in the frame of the “Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme”. Further information see "reports of activities".

Analyses, presentation and reporting of the baseline survey have been discussed during a workshop in Tirana in August 2007. Further analyses are currently ongoing and first results as well as activities in the protected area component will be presented to the public at the occasion of the III Congress of Ecologists of Macedonia with international participation in Struga in October 6-9, 2007.


March 2007: Training in Switzerland

Six young researchers from Albania and Macedonia (representing the organisations MES (MK), PPNEA (AL) and ASPBM (AL) visited the Swiss lynx project at KORA in March 13-21, 2007 for a training in lynx monitoring. While in a former training the focus was laid on theoretical, conceptual & organizational aspects of wildlife monitoring and the different methods potentially used for lynx (with practical training in snow-tracking as well as an introduction into the camera-trapping method), the training in March 2007 was concentrated upon theoretical (study set-up, data analysis, capture-recapture methodology etc.) and practical aspects of camera-trapping. Furthermore, the finding of kills of radio-collared lynx with the help of GPS devices was trained in the Jura Mountains with the aim to increase the participants’ knowledge in lynx kill identification and GPS handling.

Report on the field activities
Statement on Balkan Lynx in Captivity


October 2006: Start of the "Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme 2006-2009"

The “Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme” is a partnership project between the Macedonian Ecological Society (MES), the Society for Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania (PPNEA), the Coordinated research projects for the conservation and management of carnivores in Switzerland (KORA), and the European Nature Heritage Fund (Euronatur). It is assisted by the IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group and financially supported by the MAVA Foundation, Switzerland. There is a strong cooperation with the project "Building capacity to meet the challenges of multi-level democracy: the case of conserving three large carnivores species (wolf, bear, lynx) in the Balkan region" by the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), financially supported by the Norwegian Research Council.

see Menu "Project information" for details about the Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme.


June 2, 2006

As a continuation of the lynx monitoring training (see below), a field survey was conducted in the Mavrovo National Park, Macedonia from March 20-25, 2006. The aim was to carry out some transects in supposed lynx habitats in order to identify correctly and record any tracks of mammal species encountered, to get an idea about the species composition in these areas with the hope to find indications of lynx presence. The results are presented in the following report > link to pdf (3'619 kb)

smaller files: pages 1-6 (summary, introduction, study area, material & methods; 776 kb) / pages 7-9 (results part 1; 1'356 kb) / pages 10-13 (results part 2, conclusions, references; 1'157 kb) / page 14 (track survey form; 269 kb) / pages 15-19 (pictures; 1'111 kb)


March 1, 2006

From January 19-31, 5 students from Macedonia and Albania took part in a lynx monitoring training at KORA (Coordinated research projects for the conservation and management of carnivores in Switzerland). The training consisted of a theoretical part about different monitoring methods as well as on first practical field experience, especially on camera trapping and identification of tracks.

Read the report of the participants > link to PDF

Have a look at some pictures made during the training > link to the pictures




December 7, 2005

The documents developed for and originating from the Seminar on the Conservation of the Balkan Lynx and the subsequent Monitoring Workshop are now available from the Compendium.
See meetings > Mavrovo, November 2005 (link)




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