dimanche 27 novembre 2011

The Lynx Network in France

            Originally, it was a commission established in France in 1936, following the appearance of the lynx in France, to appraise the damage caused by the big cat to other animals. From April 1989 the Ministry of Environment put the ONCFNational Hunting and Wildlife Agency – in charge to lead the commission to monitor the lynx population in France
            I summarize the Network operation below:

Now the Lynx Network has over 1 000 people with different sensitivities (vet, forest ranger, association for nature conservation, naturalist, wolf-hunting lieutenant, hunters…etc) known as “correspondents”.
These people are trained to identify signs of the presence of lynx (prey remains, hairs, footprint…etc) and take testimonies on adapted forms.

If you see a lynx or signs of its presence, they are the ones you have to contact. You should never handle a dead lynx for example; it is protected specie so only a person authorized of the Lynx Network can.

            Then they pass all their signs at departmental director (the Network is currently present in 18 department of Alps, Jura and Vosges).
The ONCFS centralizes and analyzes the data collected each semester and distributes a newsletter twice a year, open to all: the information bulletin.

The information bulletin of the Lynx Network was an information and linking document for the correspondents. Over time, still retaining its original spirit, it became the only general information document on the monitoring of the species in France.
An annual meeting hosted by the national coordinator takes place in each department.

The method of collecting signs of the presence of lynx is standardized and the success of this monitoring entirely depends on the mobilization of the correspondents of the Network.

The absence of signs of the presence of lynx does not mean the absence of lynx : it can be a sign of low pressure of observation or a lack of monitoring (ex. : places which are hard to reach in the Alps).

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