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The lynx returns to Lithuania's forests

2013-06-13

Yesterday, four lynxes – three males and one female – that had been bred in captivity and prepared to live in the wild were released into the forests of Kazlų Rūda. These creatures will join two females that were released into the same forest last year. “The lynx is returning to Lithuania's forests. These once-numerous inhabitants of our forests have almost died out. However, they will be protected and saved from extinction,” - said Minister of Environment Valentinas Mazuronis.

The released males were born in the Telšių State Forest Enterprise's „Žverinčius,“ while the female was born in the Lithuanian Zoo. The animals were held in a special enclosure in “Žverinčius“ to acclimate them to life in the wild. The lynxes were released in the Kazlų Rūda forest to revive the lynx population that once had lived there.

The breeding of rare species in captivity and their release into the wild to bolster existing populations or to revive lost ones is a recent phenomenon in Lithuania. In 2010, work began on a 3-year EU-supported plan to breed lynxes and eagle-owls in captivity and release them into the wild. 12 lynxes have already been released into the wild, and 3 more are set to be released soon. Several more creatures will be transferred to adaptational enclosures to prepare them for life in the wild.

Lynxes have long been bred in the Lithuanian Zoo, but the young lynxes were always transferred to other zoos. They were bred for the same purpose at the „Mini zoo” in the village of Jonušų in the Klaipėda region and at the Telšių State Forest Enterprise's “Žverinčius.“ In 2010, farmer Petras Adeikis built a lynx enclosure in the village of Naisiai in the Kelmė region. Adaptational enclosures were also built at the Telšių State Forest Enterprise's “Žverinčius“ and at P. Adeikis' nursery. Lynxes are released into the wild with tracking collars so that their locations, activity and, in the event of death, body temperature, can be monitored.

Lynxes in the wild are faced with many dangers. Sometimes the creatures die when they are hit by vehicles or when they are trapped by poachers' snares. Environmentalists would like to remind the general public that 16.3 thousand Litas in fines must be paid for the destruction of a lynx. Two years ago, a pair of poachers in the Anykščiai region were imprisoned for the destruction of a lynx.

Information of the Ministry of Environment, tel.8~706 63660

2013-06-13


Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas