Rare Animal Species: The Critically Endangered Balkan Lynx Struggles To Survive

Today there are less than 50 Balkan Lynx cats surviving in the remote mountainous forests of the Western Balkans. With every passing year, this rare animal species borders on extinction.

What has caused the Balkan lynx to become a critically endangered animal species?

#2. Balkan Lynx Kittens

Rare Animal Species: The Critically Endangered Balkan Lynx Struggles To Survive
Photo: Pinterest.com

The Balkan Lynx has been on the verge of extinction for a number of reasons. A loss of habitat due to climate change coupled with illegal hunting and local farmers killing them as protection against their own livestock have greatly decimated the existing numbers of this rare animal species. In 2015, the Balkan Lynx officially became an endangered species.

#3. Adult Balkan Lynx

Rare Animal Species: The Critically Endangered Balkan Lynx Struggles To Survive  Rare Animal Species: The Critically Endangered Balkan Lynx Struggles To Survive
Photo: Pinterest.com

The Balkan Lynx kitten faces many challenges

Despite the wonderful news about the birth of a Balkan lynx kitten, researchers still hold their breath. According to Mareike Brix from Euronatur, only 25 percent of all Balkan lynx kittens live to reach adulthood. Its birth does not signify that the species has a possible breeding population. The kitten still faces challenges to survival that include: disease, over-hunting, starvation and busy highways.

Scientists are determined to protect Mavrovo National Park

This park has now become the only place known to house reproducing Balkan lynxes. It is also an area that is home to many bears, wolves and other wildlife. In the words of John Linnell: “There is a long way to go before the future of these landscapes and their biodiversity are secure. But images like these remind us that as long as there is life, there is hope – and that is what keeps conservationists’ motivation up.”

Researchers hope this kitten will promote world awareness of the plight of this rare animal species

Researchers hope for funds resulting from more ecotourism and a viable Save the Balkan Lynx campaign, which is already under way. The project is facing some bumps because so far the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has refused funding slated for a proposed dam within Mavrovo national Park. Despite this, researchers will attach a GPS collar to the kitten so they can keep track of it, with hopes it will survive to reach at least ten months of age.

Good luck, little kitten.

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