Conservation of the lynx Lynx lynx in the Swiss Jura Mountains
Urs Breitenmoser, Christine Breitenmoser-Würsten, Simon Capt, Anja Molinari-Jobin, Paolo Molinari & Fridolin Zimmermann
Breitenmoser, U., Breitenmoser-Würsten, C., Capt, S., Molinari-Jobin, A., Molinari, P. & Zimmermann, F. 2007: Conservation of the lynx Lynx lynx in the Swiss Jura Mountains. - Wildl. Biol. 13: 340-355.
Lynx Lynx lynx returned to a semi-natural, human dominated landscape in the Jura Mountains in France and Switzerland after reintroductions in the early 1970s. Controversy has resulted from lynx attacking sheep and preying on game species such as roe deer Capreolus capreolus and chamois Rupicapra rupicapra. We review the history of the lynx, the transition of the landscape and fauna in the Jura Mountains, and recent findings from long-term field studies on the species. Possible threats to the survival of the population are assessed. The ecological conditions for the existence of the lynx in the Jura Mountains have improved since the species was eradicated in the 19th century. Both habitat and prey base are suitable for maintaining the population. Immediate threats include traffic accidents and illegal killings. Long-term threats include small population size and genetic impoverishment as a result of the post-reintroduction bottleneck. We recommend conservation and management that involve local people and cooperation at national and international scales. Fragmentation of the habitat and the management system should be avoided, and landscape linkages from the Jura Mountains to adjacent mountain ranges should be established to promote a lynx metapopulation.
Key words: anthropogenic threats, conservation, history, Jura Mountains, Lynx lynx
Urs Breitenmoser, Institute of Veterinary Virology, University of Berne, Länggass-Strasse 121, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland - e-mail: email@example.com
Christine Breitenmoser-Würsten, Simon Capt, Anja Molinari-Jobin, Paolo Molinari & Fridolin Zimmermann, KORA, Thunstrasse 31, CH-3074 Muri b. Bern, Switzerland - e-mail addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org (Christine Breitenmoser-Würsten); email@example.com (Simon Capt); firstname.lastname@example.org (Anja Molinari-Jobin); email@example.com (Paolo Molinari); firstname.lastname@example.org (Fridolin Zimmermann)
Corresponding author: Urs Breitenmoser
Received 12 August 2004, accepted 2 June 2006
Associate Editor: Henrik Andrén