A hunter “mistakes” a lynx for a fox in the Kalkalpen

Monday, 18 May 2015

The reintroduction of the lynx into Austria is being undermined. Recently the carcass of a dead lynx was found at a taxidermist’s and the Hunting Federation is opposed to any further introduction.

Within the framework of lynx reintroduction in Austria, the adult male Juro had been captured in Switzerland to be released in the Kalkalpen National Park in December 2011, where he would be reunited with Freia, a female also originally from Switzerland.

Austria is home to very few lynx which reproduce only in the Mühlviertel, an area situated in the north of the country. The Kalkalpen National Park therefore plays a key role in the reintroduction of this feline into the Alps: if the park’s lynx breed in the near future it would allow a genetic exchange between the lynx of the Murau in Styria and those of the Mühlviertel.
The two felines are equipped with tracking collars to allow their movements to be followed. At this link you will find their movements mapped out: for Juro, there have been no new data since June 2013. The males Klaus and Pankraz as well as Jugo, the son of Juro and Freia, have also disappeared. The females Kora, Skadi and Freia have only been able to mate with their own offspring, which puts the genetic diversity of this population at risk. Freia was photographed in January 2015 with 2 young lynx.

Articles in the Austrian newspaper “Kurier” of 14/04/2015, as well as in the “Krone” of 17/04/2015 mention the discoveries made by crime police at a taxidermist’s, where they found the frozen carcass of a lynx. The taxidermist stated that the trophy had been brought in for preparation by a keen hunter whose defence is that he mistook it for a fox …
Erich Mayrhofer, director of the  Kalkalpen National Park has declared that this news exceeds his greatest fears. He is worried that this investigation will not be the last: genetic tests will reveal the identity of the Lynx. Despite the condemnation of this act by the assistant director of the Hunting Federation, the organisation is opposed to the introduction of another male. The head of the environmental crime team, Othmar Coser, finds himself facing a “wall of silence” on the part of the hunters …

See also the European Wilderness Society article  at this link

Source: Kalkalpen National Park Newsletter at this link

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