The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said Wednesday it is planning to transfer a number of lynxes from Estonia, where they are thriving, to Poland where the species is on the brink of extinction.
“We want to save the lynx in Poland, where the population is threatened with extinction,” WWF representative, Pawel Sredzinski, told AFP.
“We want to transfer the first animals (from Estonia) to Poland by January or February,” Sredzinski, who is running the organization’s lynx repopulation program in Poland, added.
The WWF hopes to introduce up to 40 lynxes to the Napiwodzko-Ramuckie forests in a remote area of lakes and marshes in northern Poland. The Baltic state of Estonia has a flourishing population of lynx due to lush forests and restricted road access.
“During the last decade the number has been increasing and nowadays the number is higher than ever before. The current number is estimated to be around 800 individuals,” Peep Mannil from Estonia’s environment ministry told AFP.
Hunters kill between 80 and 180 lynxes in Estonia annually for their fur and skulls.
The WWF has started a fund-raising campaign for the planned transfer of the lynxes and has asked Estonia and Poland wildlife authorities for the necessary permits.
The WWF also plans to introduce eight young lynxes born in captivity into the Pisz forest in northeastern Poland.
There is a population of 140 Carpathian lynxes living in mountain ranges in southeastern Poland, but they are separate sub-species.
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