The genetic diversity of lynx in Europe has declined sharply, which is why some populations may be threatened with extinction in the long term.

This is the result of a study by the Senckenberg Institute and the LOEWE Center for Translational Biodiversity Genomics.

Sasha Zoske

Sheet maker in the Rhein-Main-Zeitung.

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The researchers examined the genetic traits of animals from all six reintroduced lynx populations and compared them to the genetic traits of 12 natural populations in Europe and Asia.

It was shown that the newly settled big cats had a significantly lower genetic diversity and a higher inbreeding rate than the animals in traditional lynx territories.

On the one hand, the scientists explain this by saying that the gene pool of the reintroduced cats was insufficient from the start.

In addition, the habitats are cut up by roads and settlements, which makes genetic exchange between populations more difficult.

Here is the link to the study