EURASIAN LYNX (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     13th February 2024        

Context: COP14 will see proposals to include Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) in CMS Appendix II and its subspecies Balkan lynx (Lynx lynx balcanicus) for Appendix I. The proposal has been made by North Macedonia with co-proponents Uzbekistan, Albania and Bosina and Herzegovina.

Eurasian Lynx

  • About: The Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) is one of the four extant species within the medium-sized wild cat genus Lynx. 
  • Distributed:  Northern, Central and Eastern Europe to Central Asia and Siberia, the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalayas.
  • Range: The Eurasian lynx, spanning Western Europe to Central Asia, has seen a significant reduction in its original habitat over the past few centuries.
  • Decline: Remnant populations in Central Europe have endured persecution by humans, while substantial numbers still thrive in the Baltic countries, Scandinavia, and the Carpathian Mountains.
  • Balkan Lynx: The Balkan lynx (Lynx lynx balcanicus) is an exceptionally rare sub-species of the Eurasian lynx.
  • With fewer than 50 individuals remaining, it stands as one of the rarest cats globally, primarily confined to the southwest of the Balkans.
  • Threats to the Balkan Lynx: It faces severe challenges in its limited habitat, including habitat destruction and direct persecution, including threats to its prey.

oThese factors collectively pose significant threats to the survival of the Balkan lynx population.

  • Lynx Habitat: The lynx thrives in large forested areas, crucial for providing cover during hunting activities. These habitats also ensure an abundant supply of prey, essential for the lynx's sustenance and survival.