Today, a lynx named Kras became a new inhabitant of Plitvice forest

The Plitvice Lakes National Park got a special resident from the Romanian Carpathians today, a lynx named Kras. The lynx is the last animal to settle in Croatia as part of the LIFE Lynx project

  • 24.03.2023.

foto: Goga Iskrić

An adult male lynx caught in Romania was released today in the Plitvice Lakes National Park. This is the sixth lynx that was moved from the Carpathians to Croatia as part of the LIFE Lynx project in order to increase the genetic diversity of our population and stop its extinction, while ten animals have been settled in Slovenia so far.

It is estimated that at least 110 adult lynxes live in Croatia and Slovenia, and among them are animals from the Carpathians. DNA analysis and the use of automatic cameras have proven the descendants of inhabited lynxes and the consequent increase in the genetic diversity of the population in the Dinarides. A special success of the LIFE Lynx project is the settlement of lynxes in the Slovenian Alps, an area where reproduction of this species has not been recorded for more than 100 years. “This exceptional success is the result of excellent long-term cooperation and joint work of international experts, with the support of hunters and the local population,” said Magda Sindičić, coordinator of the implementation of the LIFE Lynx project in Croatia, during the release.

foto: Vedran Slijepčević

The director of Plitvice Lakes National Park, Tomislav Kovačević, said on this occasion: “The public institution Plitvice Lakes National Park has been systematically monitoring lynxes for the past seven years, and last year eight adults were recorded in the park area. But no cubs were recorded in the park area in the period from 2018 to 2021, and that could potentially be the result of inbreeding, which threatens the survival of the lynx in the Dinarides and is an alarming fact. Fortunately, at the end of 2022, automatic cameras in the park recorded a female lynx called Shiny and her two cubs, and we hope that the inhabited lynx Kras will help the continuation of this positive trend of reproduction in Plitvice.”

foto: Goga Iskrić

Lynx Kras got its name from the Croatian and Slovenian term kras, which stands for corrosive phenomena on water-soluble rocks such as limestone, the most widespread type of rock in the Dinaric Mountains and Lika and a significant feature of the karst landscape of the Plitvice Lakes. The lynx is the last animal that will be settled in Croatia as part of the LIFE Lynx project, while two more individuals will arrive in Slovenia this spring. The implementation of this successful project ends in March 2024, but the end of the project does not end our responsibility to preserve this species and the beautiful forests it lives in.