The aim of the Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme is to secure the survival of the population through a series of protected areas and improved wildlife management within and outside future transboundary protected areas along the border lines of Albania  Macedonia, Montenegro and Kosovo.

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Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme (Phase I, II and III)

The project deals with the protection of Balkan Lynx (Lynx lynx balcanicus) and its habitats. Within the project, the proclamation of the Jablanica-Shebenik Mt. Range as National Park both in Albania and in Macedonia is promoted and the technical documents compiled in the previous project are amended according to new research in the area. The same approach, preparation of the technical documents for the proclamation of protected areas was chosen for Sar Planina Mts. and Illinska-Plakenska Mts. in (Macedonia) as well as Korabi Mts. and Bjeshket e Namuna/Albanian Alps in Albania. Jablanica-Shebenik Mountain range (both in AL and in MK) was chosen for the implementation of small scale projects for rural sustainable development in order to create awareness of and acceptance for the future National Park within the local population. In addition, applied research on the ecology and distribution of lynx is carried out by trained PPNEA and MES staff members with support of international experts from KORA. The findings from the field research provide a sound basis for developing a joint protection scheme for Balkan Lynx and its habitats in Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia and .

The overall objective of this programme is to save the Critically Endangered Balkan lynx from extinction. At the same time to prepare the ground for a future recovery of this emblematic flagship species for nature conservation in the SW Balkans. Improvement of the protected area network and research on the ecology and conserva-tion status of lynx and prey populations form the backbone of this program. The aims of this project are to:
  • Establish a consistent monitoring system for lynx and its main pray species;
  • Launch a multi-level initative to promote sustinable hunting and adequate wildlife managment insturments;
  • Improve the legal protection and management  of key areas for wildlife conservation;
  • Strengthenen capacity of and collaboration between local stakeholders in target areas.

Within the project, the following activities are being implemented:
  • Continuous lobbying for the proclamation of Jablanica and Shebenik Mt. as national protected area ( In May 2007, the Albanian government proclaimed an area of 340 sqkm as Shebenik-Jablanica National Park);
  • Elaboration of technical documents for proclamation of national protected areas in Albania and Macedonia and lobbying for their final proclamation;
  • Advanced Capacity Building: Trainings for young researchers in the fields of lynx ecology and field research as well as protected area management and GIS technologies  with main focus on analysis of satellite images and landscape modelling;
  • Applied Science: Conduction of camera trapping sessions in Macedonia and Albania to gain knowledge about Balkan Lynx and its prey;
  • Continuous promotion of critical status of Balkan lynx (L. lynx martinoi) with the aim to raise awareness for the need of protection measures;
PPNEA - Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania;
MES - Macedonian Ecological Society;
FINCH - Kosovo NGO for protection of birds and nature
ERA - Environmentally Responsible Action group in Kosovo;
CZIP - Center for Protection and Research of Birds of Montenegro;
KORA - Coordinated research projects for the conservation and management of carnivore Switzerland
EuroNatur - European Nature Heritage Fund;
NINA - Norwegian Institute for Nature Research;

Country: Albania, Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo
Period:   01.10.2006 to 31.12.2015
Donors:   MAVA Foundation, SCOPES

For more info: Bledi Hoxha