Ten years ago, on this day, we captured the first Balkan lynx for scientific purposes! His name was Marko. He has become a pioneer in the telemetry research in the south-west Balkans and an icon for the conservation programme. People know him, and kids often mention him when we meet them. Films were made about him, while his pictures made the cover of many popular articles, leaflets, brochures and posters.
We will never forget that day. A join team composed of members from Macedonian Ecological Society, Protection and Preservation of the Natural Environment in Albania and Mavrovo National Park managed to overcome their nervousness and put the theory into practice. Marko was captured close to village Sence in Mavrvo NP, Macedonia. He was followed for almost a year, but in early 2011 he became a target of poaching! Poaching still represents one of the greatest threats to this small population (30-45 adults). We believe that at least one Balkan lynx a year falls victim to poaching. Dealing with this threat is still our main priority.
Marko will not be forgotten. His contribution to the ecological knowledge was very valuable. Not only did he provid ecological insights, but he also helped us train the methods of capturing, GPS and VHF tracking, in finding kills and in awareness rasing. He opened the door for further studies on this critically endangered taxon.