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

Recommendation No. 101 (2003) on the implementation of the Pan-Alpine Conservation Strategy for the Lynx (PACS), adopted by the Standing Committee on 4 December 2003

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;

Considering that the European lynx (Lynx lynx) is a fundamental part of the European natural heritage;

Noting that the population of lynx in the Alps is still fragmented and vulnerable;

Conscious that international co-operation by all Alpine States is necessary for the long-term preservation and management of the species in the region;

Recalling that one of the aims of the convention is to conserve wild fauna and its habitats, specially those species whose conservation requires the co-operation of several states, and to promote such co-operation;

Recalling its Recommendation No. 89 (2001) adopted on 30 November 2001 on the conservation of the European Lynx in the Alps and aware that the implementation of the Pan-Alpine Conservation Strategy for the lynx (PACS) may be a useful tool to redress the situation;

Recalling its Recommendation No. 58 (1997) on the reintroduction of organisms belonging to wild species and on restocking and reinforcing populations of such organisms in the environment;

Stressing the need to advance to a more coordinated management of the whole population of lynx in the Alps and welcoming in this context both the Action Plan for the conservation of the European lynx in Europe presented by the Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe sponsored by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) (Nature and Environment Series, No. 112) and the Pan-Alpine Conservation Strategy for the lynx (PACS) (Nature and Environment Series, No. 130);

Considering the Pan-Alpine Conservation Strategy for the lynx (PACS) as a sound guideline for competent national authorities which will be useful to implement;

Desirous of taking prompt action for the conservation and appropriate management of lynx in the Alps and setting as a long term objective the establishment and maintenance of a continuous population of lynx in the Alps, covering most of existing suitable habitats;

Desirous to avoid a further loss of biological diversity in Europe and wishing to promote co-existence of viable populations of lynx in the Alps with sustained development of its rural areas and noting that lynx conservation is compatible with other human activities such as livestock raising and hunting;

Convinced that illegal killing of lynx and other illegal activities affecting the species have no place in lynx management and should be actively eradicated;

Noting progress in the implementation of Recommentdation No. 89 (2001) by some states, and congratulating in particular Switzerland for the success in the re-introduction of lynx in Eastern Switzerland;

Noting, however that a Pan-Alpine Lynx population can only be achieved if healthy lynx populations are built up in Austria and Italy;

Recommends that Contracting Parties to the convention from the Alpine Region:

    1. urgently draw up and implement lynx management plans if not already operative;

    2. improve communication and coordination with neighbouring states on management of transboundary lynx populations, in particular in the development and implementation of Action Plans; establish as appropriate coordinating mechanisms for lynx and other large carnivores in the Alpine arc;

    3. provide technical support, as appropriate, for lynx re-introduction operations in other Alpine states;

    4. strengthen measures against illegal killing of lynx;

Recommends that Austria:

    5. establish a national body to promote, organise and coordinate efforts to conserve, support and study the Austrian lynx population; in that context urgently establish an efficient nationwide monitoring mechanism for lynx;

    6. on the basis of the result of monitoring, consider carrying out at the appropriate moment re-introduction / translocation projects; in that context make appropriate feasibility studies;

Recommends that Germany:

    7. monitor lynx presence in the German Alps;

    8. evaluate the feasibility of re-introducing lynx in the Alps, including the assessment of habitat suitability and human dimension aspects;

Recommends that Italy:

    9. support measures to improve a permanent monitoring system for lynx in Italy, with special attention to the Alps;

Recommends that Slovenia:

    10. evaluate the habitat suitability and potential dispersal of lynx in the Slovenian Alps;

    11. reinforce lynx conservation measures in the Slovenian Alps;

Recommends that Switzerland:

    12. improve relationships and communication between different social groups with interests in lynx.



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