SLN Webinar: 50 years Eurasian lynx in Switzerland – Experience with the reintroduction of a large carnivore

The Eurasian lynx co-exists with the snow leopard in parts of its range. Conservation of the two species are interconnected and collaborative efforts have the potential to strengthen each other. A large body of knowledge about the lynx has been gathered in Europe over the last half century. SLN’s coming webinar will introduce us to the lessons drawn from Eurasian lynx conservation efforts in Switzerland. 

SLN is pleased to invite Christine Breitenmoser-Würsten and Urs Breitenmoser to lead this webinar on Monday, 6th December, 2021 at 10 am CET. Sandro Lovari, SLN’s Steering Committee Chair will facilitate the discussion around this exchange of learnings. We look forward to this session which goes broader than the snow leopard, as requested by many members. 

Eurasian lynx

About the Webinar

The Eurasian lynx is one of the most widespread cats of the world, but in its western range, in Europe, it was almost eradicated in the 19th century. Today, the autochthonous populations in northern and eastern Europe have recovered, and in west and central Europe, several populations were reintroduced.

The first successful reintroduction was in the Swiss Alps in 1971. The reintroduction was possible because in the first half of the 20th century, the forests – habitat of the lynx – and wild ungulates such as roe deer or chamois have recovered, reconstituting the ecological framework for the return of the lynx. However, people had lost their ancient knowledge of cohabitation with large carnivores, and the return of an efficient predator and competitor was a big challenge for the human community.

Nowadays, the lynx is broadly accepted. However, the reintroduction was an extreme population bottleneck, and 50 years after the first releases, the genetic situation of the population is a major concern. The fall and raise of the megafauna – both herbivores and carnivores – were tightly connected to long-term societal and economic development and the transition from a more agricultural society to an urban industrial and service society. Such experience – both negative and positive – can help to better foresee and mitigate human-carnivore conflicts in the fast changing world of Asia.

Eurasian Lynx 

About our Guests

Christine Breitenmoser-Würsten and Urs Breitenmoser both have a PhD in zoology from the University of Bern. They are ecologists who have mainly worked on the challenges of large carnivores making a comeback in Switzerland, especially the Eurasian lynx, which was reintroduced in the Swiss Alps and in the Jura Mountains in the early 1970s. Christine and Urs have directed the Swiss Foundation KORA – carnivore ecology and wildlife management. Since 2001, they are the co-chairs of the IUCN SSC Cat Specialist Group.


Monday, 6th December, 2021 at 10 am CET

Register today

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Please note

  • If you have never used Zoom before, we recommend that you try the link 10 minutes before the start of the lecture.
  • Please feel free to write questions in the comment area and there will be time for questions/discussion at the end of the talk.
  • Please note that the session will be recorded and later featured on the SLN website. If you have concerns about this please let us know before the session.
Female Roe Deer

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