Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats - Standing Committee

Recommendation No. 74 (1999) on the conservation of large carnivores, adopted by the Standing Committee on 3 December 1999

The Standing Committee of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, acting under Article 14 of the Convention,

Having regard to the aims of the convention to conserve wild fauna and its natural habitats;

Recalling that Article 1, paragraph 2 of the convention requires Parties to give particular emphasis to the conservation of endangered and vulnerable species;

Noting that large carnivores form a unique and interesting ecological group with a specialised and fragile position in the trophic chain;

Noting that large carnivores are absent from wide areas of Western Europe where they were frequent and well represented in previous times;

Noting the decline in the population of the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) and the reduction of its range since the convention was signed in 1979;

Noting the isolation of populations of large carnivores in some mountain ranges, and the dramatic decline of some populations;

Desirous to avoid a further loss of biological diversity in Europe and wishing to promote co-existence of viable populations of large carnivores with sustained development of rural areas in appropriate regions;

Aware that the drafting and implementation of Action Plans may be a useful tool to redress the situation;

Recalling its Recommendation No. 59 (1997) on the Drafting and Implementation of Action Plans of Wild Fauna Species;

Recalling its Recommendation No. 10 (1988) on the conservation of the brown bear (Ursus arctos), No. 17 (1989) on the conservation of the wolf (Canis lupus), No. 19 (1991) on the conservation of the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus), No. 20 (1991) on the conservation of the European lynx (Lynx lynx), No. 37 (1992) on the conservation of the Cantabrian bear and No. 43 (1995) on the conservation of threatened mammals in Europe, and its Resolution No. 3 (1996) on the setting up of the Emerald Network;

Referring to the Action Plans on large carnivores presented by the Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe sponsored by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) (documents T-PVS(98)23, 24, 25, 26 and 27);

Desirous of taking prompt action for the conservation and appropriate management of large carnivores;

Considering these action plans as guidelines for competent national authorities;

Recommends Contracting Parties to the convention and invites observer States to consider drafting and implementing (or, if appropriate, reinforcing) national Action Plans for the species listed in the Appendix to the recommendation; take note, in that context, of the above-mentioned Action Plans presented by the Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe.

Appendix: List of large carnivores covered by this recommendation

– Brown bear (Ursus arctos)
– Wolf (Canis lupus)
– Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx)
– Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus)
– Wolverine (Gulo gulo)