Why are the ten tails so dangerous
Here you will find a compilation of the most frequently asked questions about the lynx - and answers.
We look forward to new questions - contact us here!
Much more information and beautiful photos about the lynx can be found on our website.
Evidence for the answers given below can be found on our website in the cited literature or the cited online sources. Thanks in particular to the Forest Research and Research Institute Baden-Württemberg (FVA) for their information!
Is the lynx back in the Black Forest yet?
Since the 1980s there have been isolated indications of the presence of lynx in Baden-Württemberg.
- On December 31, 1988, a lynx was run over on the Rhine Valley motorway near Bad Krozingen.
- 2000: A hobby photographer accidentally captured a lynx with the camera in the Feldberg region.
- 2005-2006: The "Danube valley lynx", which lived near Beuron before it was run over on the motorway near Laichingen on New Year's Eve 2007, was documented several times using photo traps.
- In March 2013, a lynx was spotted again in the eastern southern Black Forest and was photographed by the observer. However, this young male lynx died a short time later of an illness (chronic liver and kidney disease). External influence was ruled out by the experts.
- 2014 in the southern Black Forest: occasional lynx records around the Belchen (February 2014: photo taken through photo trap, December 2014)
- More information 2015: March 22nd, 2015 Photo trap picture lynx: Municipality of Münstertal / Black Forest, Luchs Wilhelm (B3000), origin: unknown; At the beginning of April 2015, a lynx can be caught in the Elz Valley and equipped with a transmitter collar. This lynx ("Friedl") had verifiably torn two lambs. He comes from the Swiss Jura. Friedl stretches long distances through Baden-Württemberg (up to the gates of Ulm and even into the Zollernalb district) and spends a long time in the Upper Danube Valley. Livestock cracks are no longer reported. As planned, at the beginning of April 2016 he lost his transmitter collar. In the (unsuccessful) attempt to recapture him for a resend, another unknown lynx falls into the trap. This is transmittered and given the name "Tello".
- Tello stayed in the Albstadt area for a long time. This lynx comes from the Eastern Alps.
- In addition, two other lynxes (in the Kinzigtal and near Mauenheim / Hegau) have been identified. According to the available findings, both are younger males.
- In November 2016, Tello lost his transmitter collar in a collision with a car. At first nothing is known about his condition. It is now known that he survived the accident.
- In January 2017 Friedl preyed on sheep and goats.
- In June 2017, the lynx Cyril, released in the Palatinate Forest, was captured in Baden-Württemberg and, after consultation with the authorities, brought back to the Palatinate Forest.
- In December 2017, another lynx male from the Forest Research and Research Institute Baden-Württemberg (FVA) was able to be broadcasted in the southern Black Forest, it is called "Wilhelm". The origin of the animal is unknown. What is certain is that the lynx has been documented several times in the southern Black Forest via photo traps since 2015. The transmitter collar only works for a month and then has a technical defect. There has been no contact with the animal since January 2018. Photo trap pictures at the beginning of March 2019 show that Wilhelm is still on the move in the southern Black Forest.
- Progress in 2018: Increased evidence of a lynx in northwest Baden-Württemberg (Heidelberg / Odenwald area). In an exchange with experts from the neighboring federal states and the Harz lynx project, it was confirmed that the evidence was the lynx male "M12". The lynx was tagged by the Harz project last year. When migrating south, the collar transmitter in Hesse failed and was no longer transmitting any data. The expected settings of the collar and photo trap evidence from "M12" in Baden-Württemberg could prove that the lynx lost the collar in Baden-Württemberg as planned (this was then found by a private person). Whether “M12” is still in the region or whether the animal has moved on cannot be answered at the moment.
- In January 2019, a lynx in the Upper Danube Valley can be broadcast after it has entered a fallow deer enclosure several times and also killed animals there. The State Hunting Association took over the sponsorship of the lynx male and named him Lias (scientific name: B600). If the technology works, the collar transmitter will now provide data on the lynx's use of space and selection of prey for two years. It was first captured by a photo trap in January 2018 in the Upper Danube Valley and comes from the southwestern Swiss Jura (Geneva region). This hiking route is also remarkable for the lynx males who love to walk. Photo trap picture on September 20, 2019 (Todtmoos municipality), lynx Wilhelm (B3000) during trapping attempt.
- There have been no verifiable attacks by lynxes on farm animals since the beginning of 2019. At that time, the lynx "Lias" caught fallow deer several times in a gate in the upper Danube valley. The gate was then fenced in to repel lynx as part of a pilot project by the state of Baden-Württemberg. Since then, the attacks have not occurred again, although the lynx is regularly near the gate.
- End of 2019: In the northern Black Forest (districts of Rastatt and Freudenstadt) a lynx can be detected in October and December 2019. No further information is currently available about the individual (gender, origin, age). The lynx is not one of the previously known individuals.
- Beginning of 2020: A young male lynx (born in 2019) was photographed in the Lake Constance region (district of Konstanz) in January 2020. He could be assigned to the well-known individual "B723" from northeastern Switzerland.
Comment:So far, this has only involved the detection of individual male animals. Lynx females show a much more restrained spreading behavior than the males and have not yet crossed the numerous barriers on the Upper Rhine. Supporting the population is therefore essential if you want to get the lynx back in Baden-Württemberg. To date there is no secure population in Baden-Württemberg.
Is the lynx dangerous to humans?
Lynx are very attentive and curious animals, but they avoid humans. They are actually not shy, rather they are "invisible" to us. They hunt primarily at dusk, and during the day their fur makes them ideally suited to their forest habitat.
A lynx notices people first, observes them and eventually withdraws.
Take a lynx watch like winning the lottery!
Attacks by lynxes on humans are extremely rare. One cause can be a rabies infection of the animal; however, countries such as Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Spain, Great Britain, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries (source: Robert Koch Institute) are rabies-free. Otherwise people were only injured under special circumstances, especially when animals were caught. Even (unintentional) misconduct (e.g. being cornered, cutting off escape routes) by people can lead to resistance.
Are humans dangerous to the lynx?
Yes, a lot: lynxes are repeatedly killed in traffic. And since the lynx is seen by some as a competitor for prey, there are occasional - illegal - kills.
Is the lynx dangerous to farm animals such as sheep or goats?
The basic food of the lynx in our latitudes is the deer, but also other wild animals such as foxes, chamois, martens and mice.
Long-term observations from Switzerland show that very few lynxes attack domestic animals, even if the experts still do not know why this is so.
If it can be proven that a farm animal is torn from a lynx, there is a compensation fund in Baden-Württemberg that guarantees farmers quick and unbureaucratic help.
If the lynx prefers to eat deer: won't it become a competitor for the hunters?
In Central Europe the deer is the basic food of the lynx. However, a lynx hunts on a much larger area than a hunter does. For comparison: In an average lynx area there is space for 40 to 50 hunting areas for humans. And on this large area there are many more deer than human and animal hunters could kill together.
Studies have also shown that the fox also makes up a not insignificant part of the lynx diet.
What are the brushes on the ears of the lynx for?
The exact role of the long hair on the ears of the lynx is still not known for sure. It is noticeable that all other types of cats can do without these brushes.
Assumptions about the role of the brush are: sound, wind sensors, intra-species communication. However, none of these assumptions has been scientifically proven!
In general: Not every feature has to serve an actual purpose! It can also have persisted in the course of evolution, since it does not cause any disadvantage.
Why does the lynx have such conspicuous whiskers?
The whiskers of the lynx actually look like a small mane. This can be fluffed up.
It is still unclear whether it serves as a horn to guide sound waves even better to the ear. It is also possible that the fluffed whiskers serve as a warning to rivals.
In general: Not every feature has to serve an actual purpose! It may also have persisted in the course of evolution, as this does not result in any disadvantage.
Why does the lynx have such a noticeably short tail?
It is not yet known why the lynx has such a short tail.
In general: Not every feature has to serve an actual purpose! It can also have persisted in the course of evolution, since it does not cause any disadvantage.
A long tail is advantageous when e.g. B. how the cheetah has to run very fast, or when - like some monkeys - you need the tail to jump for control. And neither of these are characteristics of the lynx.
The capercaillie in the Black Forest is threatened with extinction. Doesn't the lynx also like to eat capercaillie?
The lynx will certainly not scorn a capercaillie it encounters. But on the one hand, the chance is not very great, as both occur very rarely. On the other hand, the lynx also eats a lot of foxes, which in turn occur in a much higher density than the lynx and thus represent a real danger for capercaillies.
How can experts determine whether and, if so, how many lynx there are?
The scientists (in Baden-Württemberg this is the Forest Research and Research Institute (FVA) in Freiburg, see under "What to do if I have seen a lynx?") Are grateful for every sighting report. In addition to the concrete observation, this can also be other detection possibilities such as tracks, cracks, excrement, hair or the call of the lynx.
To document the occurrence of lynx or other wild animals, the experts also hang so-called photo traps on trees or posts. These are cameras that react to heat and trigger when a living being moves nearby. In addition to wild animals, snowshoe hikers, dogs etc. can also fall into the "trap".
Determining the actual number of lynx in a region requires long-term use of many photo traps.
Can the lynx be hunted here?
The lynx is subject to hunting law in Germany, but is strictly protected there all year round.
- In Baden-Württemberg it is on the red list, category 0, i. H. extinct or lost.
- In Germany it is also on the Red List, Category 2, i. H. highly endangered (Red List of Endangered Animals in Germany, BfN 1998).
- According to the Federal Hunting Act (BJagdG), the year-round closed season applies to the lynx.
- The lynx is also listed in other laws, guidelines and ordinances with the aim of protecting and promoting it. These are the Federal Nature Conservation Act (Sections 39 ff. BNatschG) and the State Nature Conservation Act of Baden-Württemberg (Sections 27 ff. LNatschG), the target species concept of the Ministry for Rural Areas and Consumer Protection of Baden-Württemberg (MLR), the FFH Directive (92 / 43 / EEC, Annex II and IV), the European Species Protection Regulation (EC 338/97, Annex A), the Bern Convention (Annex III) and the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of the Wild Fauna and Flora ) (Annex II)
In Switzerland, only in the very rare cases in which a lynx specializes in domestic animals such as goats or sheep as a "problem lynx" (so-called harmful lynx), and this lynx may be killed. This measure is intended to prevent the farmers' acceptance of lynxes from being jeopardized due to the problematic behavior of a single lynx.
Such a regulation is also being discussed for Baden-Württemberg.
Would a lynx attack my free-running dog while walking in the woods?
First of all: Whether a dog is allowed to run around in the forest without a leash basically depends on the state forest law of the respective federal state.
In Baden-Württemberg, unlike z. B. in Schleswig-Holstein or Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania that dogs are allowed to move freely in the forest without a leash and without restriction. However, it is crucial that the dog owner has his animal safely under control.
There have already been cases of a lynx defending its prey with lashes against an approaching dog. Even a lynx with young would certainly try to drive a dog away - but this behavior towards dogs is also to be expected in wild boar brooks with freshlings.
Why do we want to reintroduce the lynx and not just wait until it comes back on its own?
Young lynxes can cover large distances in search of a free territory. However, only a few animals overcome forest-free or densely populated areas. And all lynxes seem - in contrast to wolves - to prefer to settle in the vicinity of conspecifics.
For this reason, all of today's lynxes in Central Europe come from reintroduction projects. Examples are Slovenia, Bohemia, Switzerland, the Vosges or the Harz Mountains. From there, the animals began to colonize other, closely adjacent areas, such as the Bavarian Forest or parts of northern Hesse.
For Baden-Württemberg, the experts agree that natural repopulation from the Jura or the Vosges is extremely unlikely. The reasons are the relatively low population pressure there, the settlement and transport barriers in between, and the tendency of the lynx to settle in the vicinity of the lynx. In addition, the female lynx are much more reluctant than the males to overcome barriers or unsuitable habitats, such as the High Rhine Valley for many wild animals.
For a successful re-naturalization, however, above all, acceptance by the population is a prerequisite.
The Luchs-Initiative Baden-Württemberg e. V. has been promoting the scientifically supported reintroduction of the lynx in southwest Germany for many years. The AG Luchs founded by the Ministry for Rural Areas and Consumer Protection Baden-Württemberg (MLR) is also intended to help improve the required level of acceptance. There, representatives of the hunters, farmers, nature conservationists, scientists and the lynx initiative try to bring their respective points of view closer together.
Is there currently a resettlement project in Germany?
Yes, in Rhineland-Palatinate. Between 2016 and 2020, a total of 20 lynxes from Switzerland and Slovakia will be released into the wild as part of the “Pfälzerwald / Vosges du Nord lynx project”. The project is well on its way, as there are offspring among the lynxes in the first two years after the start.
You can find all information under Foundation Nature and Environment Rhineland-Palatinate.
What to do if i see a lynx
First of all: stay calm and enjoy the rare sight!
Please report your observation as soon as possible (i.e. on the same day if possible):
Forestry Experimental and Research Institute Baden-Württemberg, Forest Nature Conservation Department
Wildlife Ecology Department
Tel: 0761 4018-274
This also applies if you've come across clues such as marks and cracks. If possible, take photos of your observation, in the case of traces with size comparison! In addition, nothing should be changed at the source.
Thanks for your support!
Is the lynx susceptible to tapeworms like the fox?
House cats (and thus possibly other cats like the lynx) are considered "bad" hosts for the tapeworm (Echinococcus). In Switzerland, for example, lynxes are systematically examined for parasites. So far, the tapeworm has not been detected, although the small fox tapeworm is very common in Switzerland.
Could the lynx regulate the wild boar population, which has increased significantly in recent years?
It has been proven that the lynx in our latitudes mainly feeds on deer, but also catches foxes, chamois, martens and mice.
Since a lynx hunts on a much larger area than a hunter does, it exerts only a small influence on the deer population in a district (even if this is repeatedly assumed), especially since the game densities in our forests are much higher are than is commonly imagined.
The lynx will avoid adult wild boars rather than ambush them, at best it might even kill a newborn. Lynx will therefore certainly not contribute to the regulation of the wild boar population, which has increased considerably in recent years.
How did the names (e.g. B 600) come about for lynxes?
The naming is very pragmatic according to which sides of the animal are known (important for identification based on the coat drawing): B = both sides known, R = only right side known, L = only left side known. Correct names (Tello, Friedl etc.) are only given lynxes with transmitters.
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