What is Episode 131 all about?
The Eurasian lynx is one of Europe’s most iconic and tenacious carnivores. Full of grit, these cats regularly take down prey many times their size and fill the same ecological role as their bigger feline relatives. The Eurasian lynx is also one of Europe’s most imperiled predators. Regionally extinct in areas and barely holding on in others, conservationists have recognized that serious work is required for these cats to thrive.
Considering the elusive nature of these cats, you might be asking, how do you go about restoring lynx numbers, connecting isolated populations, and studying a cat that’s a master at not being seen? Additionally, how does one engage all stakeholders including local communities, hunters, educators, and tour guides in lynx conservation? These questions almost seem unanswerable, but the guest of today’s episode has figured it out and shares his knowledge with us.
Today we are sitting down with Vedran Slijepčević, DVM, wildlife veterinarian, and a founder of the LIFE Lynx project. While in veterinary school, Vedran attended a lecture by a well-known Croatian bear scientist and right away, he knew he wanted to become involved in large carnivore research. After volunteering in all sorts of research roles, Vedran landed the opportunity to go into the field to study the Eurasian lynx, which laid the foundation for his future career as a predator researcher and senior lecturer.
Vedran and I discuss his life’s journey and how he became a veterinarian, large carnivore researcher, senior lecturer, and seasoned hunter. We then chat about wildlife management and how Croatia manages its large carnivores. Following, we explore all aspects of the lynx’s life; their natural history, why they became almost extinct in the Dinaric Mountains, issues the population is currently facing, and how Vedran’s project, LIFE Lynx, is bringing them back. And of course, sprinkled throughout the conversation is the human dimension of coexisting with lynx, because, as we’ve learned, engaging local communities is crucial to conserving wildlife.
Alright, everyone. Without further adieu, please enjoy this conversation with Vedran.
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Watch this episode on YouTube.
Vedran in the Field
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