"The Return of Lynx to Northwestern Poland"

The project is implemented by the Western Pomeranian Nature Society together with the Mammal Research Institute of the Polish Acadamy of Sciences in Białowieża and the Cultural Center in Miroslawiec

Results

The return of lynx in north- western Poland- how it look like in practice?

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Our project includes three ways of obtaining lynxs for reintroduction.

First methode  using lynxs who get birth in captivity ( breeding pen and adaptation pen ).  When they grow up, they will be release together with their mother (modified method "born to be free"). At this moment we don`t have any kinde of this lynxs yet.



Seconde way includes trapping lynxs who  living in the wild and resettling them to our territories. Unfortunately, at this momnet  there is no possible to use this method becouse there in no surplus wild lynxs from Baltic population .

Third way based on consists in using lynxs from breeding centers. Such lynxes after the period to "savage training"  (we release they onto  adaptation pen during this period), they will be  relese to the wild.

Before we  bring some lynxs,  we have to selected animals due to project assumption (genetics for baltic population of lynx). We take some hair samples  from lynx and sent for genetic test. In accociete with  decision of GDOŚ (The General Directorate for Environmental Protection), the results must clearly confirm that individuals in terms of genetic diversity do not differ significantly from the lynx occurring in the wild state within, i.e. the "Baltic" population. After completing all the necessary documents, the most important being the CITES certificate, we can bring the designated lynx.

And here begins the lynx adventure ...

We drive with our own car to take lynxs. We transport animals in specjalist containers that provide proper ventilation and through mounted cameras all the way we can observe how our new animal behave.

Each individual before transport is immobilized. During this procedure,  we put on lynx  a telemetry collar with a transmitter and implanted a chip who  allowing the animal to be identified . The animal  tests  to confirming his health and next were dewormed and vaccinated against rabies.

Collars, that we put on  animals,  have been constructed in such a way, that they do not significantly affect the vital functions of lynx. The transmitter is mounted on a leather belt, and the total weight of the device is up to 280 g. The GPRS / GPS transmitter works for about a year, and the VHF radio transmitter operates up to 4.5-5 years. After this time the belt of the collar is self-destructing and the lynx loses the collar. We assume that some lynxes will be able to replace the collar with a new one beforehand.

Imported lynx go to adaptation pen where they are subjected to "savage training". This action is consists to  learning to eat food in a natural form. The second, equally important element of adaptation is to make the animal aware that man is his greatest enemy. We want the lynx in the wild to avoid contact with people. The period of "savage training" is determined by the individual characteristics. Some lynxes need 2 weeks, others even 3 months.

So far, only in one case after the release of the lynx, the necessity of its recapture has appeared. This lynx was again subjected to the training of "savage" and once again animal was released - this time in another place. Today, the lynx, who has been in the wild for 5 weeks, is doing very well.

A very important stage of the project is the observation of lynxs in the wild. The first month after release is the most important. We analyze data sent from telemetry collars  and also control the places where the lynx hunt for they prey. If in a month he can hunt 2-3 prey, animal were recognized as effectively restored to nature.



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