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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Survival, movements and population development of lynx Lynx lynx reintroduced to the Vosges massif, Lorraine, France

Published source details

Vandel J., Stahl P., Herrenschmidt V. & Marboutin E. (2006) Reintroduction of the lynx into the Vosges mountain massif: from animal survival and movements to population development. Biological Conservation, 131, 370-385


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Hold translocated mammals in captivity before release Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A study in 1983–2002 in a temperate forest in Vosges massif, France (Vandel et al. 2006) found that following translocation of Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx that had been held in captivity before release, around half survived for 2–11 years. Ten of 21 animals survived for 2–11 years after release. The distribution of lynx increased from 1,870 km2 (six years after the first releases) to 3,160 km2 (12 years later). At least two females produced litters. In 1983–1993, twenty-one adult lynx were brought to France from European zoos. The program sought wild-caught lynx for releases, however the exact origin of each animal, and the length of time that each spent in captivity, are unclear. Lynx were released at four sites in the Vosges Mountains. The first eight animals were held in cages at the release site for 4–45 days prior to release, but the remainder were released immediately upon arrival. Animals were radio-tracked for 1–847 days. The presence of lynx was also established through sightings, footprints, detection of faeces or hair and reports of attacks on domestic animals.

(Summarised by Paul Gerlach )

Use holding pens at release site prior to release of translocated mammals Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A controlled study in 1983–2002 in a temperate forest in Vosges massif, France (Vandel et al. 2006) found that survival of translocated Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx that were held in captivity before release was similar between animals kept in holding pens at the release site and animals which were released directly. Four of eight animals which were kept in enclosures at the release site prior to release survived for 10–11 years, compared to six of 13 animals that survived 2–7 years after being released without holding pens. The distribution of lynx increased from 1,870 km2 (six years after the first releases) to 3,160 km2 (12 years later). At least two females, both of which were released without holding pens, produced litters. In 1983–1993, twenty-one adult lynx were brought to France from European zoos. The program sought wild-caught lynx for releases, however the exact origin of each animal, and the length of time that each spent in captivity, are unclear. Lynx were released at four sites in the Vosges mountains. The first eight animals were held in cages at the release site for 4–45 days prior to release, but the remainder were released immediately upon arrival. Animals were radio-tracked for 1–847 days. The presence of lynx was also established through sightings, lynx footprints, detection of faeces or hair and reports of attacks on domestic animals.

(Summarised by Paul Gerlach )