On 26 December 2018, the Conservation Action Plan (CAP) for the Balkan Lynx was presented in the Mavrovo National Park (MNP), foreseeing systematic activities for the conservation of Balkan lynx in the MNP area. Activities are financially supported by the Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme, implemented by the Macedonian Ecological Society (MES) for twelve years now, and will be conducted in close cooperation with MNP until the end of 2020. The document was prepared and revised in the last five years in partnership with MES, MNP and other relevant stakeholders from the country and abroad.
–The main goal of the Action Plan is to give significant contribution to conserve the population of the critically endangered Balkan lynx. The CAP represents operative document specifying concrete activities and measures, also providing financial and time frames. The CAP pertains to the lynx population core area, currently within MNP, whereas planned activities include prey species monitoring, education, raising public awareness, establishing safe biocorridors for large mammals, transboundary cooperation, etc., stated Dime Melovski, MES Wildlife Programme Manager.
Current situation with the Balkan lynx in Macedonia remains worrisome. Latest estimation show that lynx population in its entire potential region in the Southwest Balkans amounts to 40 adult individuals. Such figures were acquired using direct counting of individuals within the core area in MNP and their further extrapolation for the remaining suitable habitats. The counting of individuals was done using the globally accepted method of camera-trapping in the years 2008, 2010, 2013, 2015 and 2018. MNP and its surroundings host between 10 and 18 lynx, with average population density of 1.7 individuals per 100 km2. Its population size below 50 adult individuals earns the Balkan lynx the critically endangered (CR) status according to the criteria of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and therefore, it has found its place on the IUCN Red List ever since 2015.