Croatian endangered animals – the Common Lynx

The common lynx is the largest cat living in Europe and thus in Croatia. In the literature we will come across it under the Latin name Lynx lynx or under the name "Eurasian lynx". It is the largest of the four types of lynx that exist, and apart from its size, it also stands out in appearance. While it has a round head and a short muzzle, it resembles other cats, but its legs are longer than those of other members of this species, with the notion that the hind limbs are longer than the front members so that it can jump as easily as possible when hunting. His body is covered with thick, brownish-gray to reddish fur, while his belly and inner side are white. Also, lynxes are special for their speckled pigmentation of fur and a tuft of black hair up to 4 cm long at the tips of their ears. They live independently, have their own territory, and meet with other members of their species only during mating season (February to April). The female brings the kittens into the world after about 69 days. Unfortunately, almost half of the kittens will not experience a second year of life due to the extremely high mortality rate (around 50%) before the first year of life. But on the other hand, these predators are extremely adapted to the environment in which they live. They have extremely good eyesight, flair, hearing and a well-developed strategy. They steal their prey silently and, when close enough, jump on it and knock it to the ground. They feed on small mammals (rodents and rabbits), birds, but they are also able to catch prey three to four times larger than themselves, such as deer, roe deer or chamois. In addition to food sources, shelter is also important when choosing a habitat. It needs a spacious and peaceful place, which it found in Croatia in a forested mountainous area in Gorski Kotar, Lika and Ćićarija. But although the lynx is a good hunter and extremely adaptable, there are many dangers to it. Unfortunately, the greatest enemy of this animal is man, and although it is on the list of endangered animals, lynx is often the target of hunters. In addition, roads also pose a risk because they fragment habitats, diminish food sources or cause direct death. Due to all these dangers, there are only 40-60 individuals of the common lynx in all of Croatia, and with the intention of protecting it, it has been listed as one of the six extinct mammals in the Republic of Croatia and declared a legally protected animal. The Eurasian lynx has also been included in the Mammalian Red Data Book of Croatia (Tvrtković ur.) As a regionally extinct species (RE) and is considered a potentially endangered species (NT) after resettlement in Croatia and neighbouring countries.


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