RElynx Saxony: Juno and Nova - the first lynxes have been reintroduced into the wild

Perhaps a piece of history was written here: On 18 March 2024, the first two lynxes, Juno the male and Nova the female, were released into the wild in the western Ore Mountains as part of the «RELynx Sachsen» project. More animals are to follow and establish a new lynx population in Saxony.

© Archiv Naturschutz LfULG, Alexander Sommer© Archiv Naturschutz LfULG, Alexander Sommer

© Archiv Naturschutz LfULG, Alexander Sommer

Juno arrived in his transport box during the night and was released into the forest in the early hours of the morning. He didn't seem to be in any particular hurry, walked slowly out of the box, looked around and then jumped into the bushes. Juno is two years old and comes from the «wild cat village of Hütscheroda» in Thuringia. Here he grew up with as little human contact as possible and was already prepared for life in the forest. Before he was resettled, Juno had to pass a temperament test: The lynx was observed intensively and his reactions tested. Juno proved to be extremely shy and is therefore ideally suited to life in the wild. He is healthy and able to reproduce.

Nova is a wild catch: she was caught in the Swiss Jura on the evening of 24 February. She was then quarantined for three weeks, underwent a veterinary examination and was vaccinated. As a healthy and genetically suitable female lynx, nothing stood in the way of her travelling to Saxony: Nova was released into her new home immediately after travelling from Switzerland. She launched off into the wild and ran straight away along a forest path. The cat is three to six years old and has already had kittens, which can be recognised by her teats.

Both animals have GPS collars and can be tracked by the project team. Nova is keen to run and explore and most recently stayed around 15 kilometres away from the release site. Juno still has to get used to his new freedom and is initially exploring the area around the release site.