European large carnivores: a surprising success story

28 January 2014 | News story

The latest issue of the IUCN European Newsletter sheds light on Europe's large carnivores, presenting the threats they have to face and examples of success stories in their conservation.   

Europe is home to five species of large carnivores: the Wolf (Canis lupus), the Eurasian Lynx (Lynx lynx), the Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardinus), the Brown Bear (Ursus arctos) and the Wolverine (Gulo gulo). Over recent centuries they have been heavily persecuted by humans for a range of reasons, which led to historic lows in their distribution and density in the mid 20th century. Since then, the species have made dramatic recoveries across Europe.

"Large carnivores are fascinating animals, but have always had a complicated relationship with humans. Together with the IUCN’s Large Carnivores Initiative for Europe, we are implementing a project to identify practical approaches to help ensure a favourable conservation status of the main European large carnivore species and to secure their coexistence with humans by reducing conflicts where they arise" says Luc Bas, the Director of IUCN European Union Representative Office in the editorial of the European Newsletter.

Some of the articles of the present issue are:

  • The threats to European large carnivores
  • INTERVIEW with Commissioner Potočnik: Focusing on large carnivores
  • Wolves' return to unlikely places
  • The conservation of the most endangered subspecies of Eurasian Lynx in the Balkans

To read more about the work of IUCN on large carnivores and on other related initiatives in Europe, click on this link to the European Newsletter – January 2014.