Having disappeared from France during the 20th century, reintroduction in Switzerland in the 1970s and in the Vosges in the 1980s–1990s has led to a reconquest of eastern France. By 2021, there were an estimated 150 Eurasian lynxes in France, of which 100 were in the Jura. (Photo © L Terminet.)

lynx distribution 1999-2018 (data: ONCFS réseau lynx)
Lynx distribution 1999-2018 (data: ONCFS réseau lynx)

Map data source. The numbers and area of distribution have not grown significantly in the last ten years. Some specialists see this as evidence of saturation. Others argue that if there were less poaching and fewer traffic accidents the numbers would continue to increase. Source.

With a diet consisting largely of medium and small herbivores such as roe deer and chamois and a preference for forest cover, the Eurasian lynx is rarely seen. Hunters are probably the group of people most impacted, though the predator/prey equation is complex.

Of the three top predators in Europe – brown bear, wolf and lynx – the lynx causes the least damage to farm animals. One sheep per lynx per year. Unfortunately, some flocks are hit repeatedly.

Farm animals killed or injured by lynx
Farm animals killed or injured by lynx

These figures include deaths and injuries (based on data from DREAL collected for the National Action Plan for Lynx 2021–2030. Source: les Eleveurs Face aux Prédateurs.