A hiker found the little hungry and prostrate lynx in Chapelle des Bois (Doubs) and informed the care center which went there in the presence of the French Office for Biodiversity (OFB). The condition of the animal, visibly deprived of its mother, remains critical.
This is a scenario already well known to the caretakers of the Care Center for wild animals based at Etoile in the Jura. Young lynx, whose mother is killed by collision with a car or poaching, find themselves alone. Unable to feed and fend for themselves before the age of 10 months, they become dehydrated and literally starve to death, often near human presence.
The little female found by a walker in Chapelle des Bois (Doubs), at the foot of Risoux, this Friday weighs only 2.7 kilos against 6 normally for an animal of his age. She was placed in intensive care. No one can say if she will survive. Having not found a female killed by collision with a car for at least two weeks in the area, the trainers ironically think “that it is not forbidden to suspect poaching”.
“Already in 2015, a female had suddenly disappeared in the area, leaving three young, one of whom died of starvation, explains Gilles Moyne, director of the Athénas center. The period of the opening of the hunt is particularly critical for the species, because the mother in order to feed her growing young, must cover all of her 150 square kilometers of territory to hunt. It then exposes itself more by pursuing prey which itself is more vulnerable.”
An adult lynx hunts an average of one deer per week, which it will eat over several days. “Some hunters kill the lynx, (protected animal for which they can be severely punished Editor’s note) because they can’t stand the idea of competition, continues Gilles Moyne. However, lynx take 3 to 4 times fewer deer than hunters who kill 6,000 a year in the Jura department and as many in the Doubs department. And the sampling quotas are still increasing!”
Lynxes also die a lot from being run over by cars that pass through their habitat daily, sometimes at very high speed. Four individuals have died in recent weeks alone.
The Athénas center is also at the origin of a petition asking for an immediate moratorium on hunting, following the exceptional drought this year. Small streams and dry forest ponds, episodes of heat waves and forest fires have rendered all biodiversity depleted with reproductive failures for many species.
“And yet, clarifies the petitionfrom August 15, the early opening of wild boar hunting will launch dogs, 4x4s and armed men into the wild to track down, kill animals and disturb all the hard-hit wildlife.
We cannot condone this attitude of denial consisting, whatever happens, in considering Nature as the meat department of a supermarket.
“The few millimeters of water that fell in September did not compensate for the 80% water deficit over the season, laments Gilles Moyne. We must stop this headlong rush and this hunt which only satisfies categorical interests. We are no longer on an “expression of rurality”, of single people shooting a partridge or a pigeon, but on a rationalized exploitation of large fauna, multiplied by the practice of feeding sometimes with GMO corn…The population of wild boar has thus been multiplied by 14 in France in 30 years. We can no longer behave like this. It is urgent that people realize this and change.“
The petition has garnered 82,067 signatures to date.