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Dr Mariano Recio is awarded a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship to study lynx movements

Dr. Mariano Recio, source: personal archive

Publish Date: 06.07.2022

Category: Researchers in focus , ERC & MSCA, Our contribution to sustainable development goals

Sustainable development goals: 15 Life on land (Indicators)

Under the European Commission call HORIZON-MSCA-2021, the Spanish researcher Dr Mariano Recio has been awarded a postdoctoral fellowship for the two-year research project LYNXONTHEMOVE at the Biotechnical Faculty of the University of Ljubljana, where he will collaborate with his mentor Dr Miha Krofel from the Chair of Forest Health and Wildlife Management at the Department of Forestry and Renewable Forest Resources. As Dr Miha Krofel explained, “The project will focus on the movements of lynx that are released into a new environment after they have been translocated. In this way, we aim to increase the effectiveness of this conservation measure, which has been at the heart of many projects over recent decades to prevent the extinction of Europe’s largest and most endangered cat species.”

Animal translocations, such as population reinforcements or the reintroductions of extinct species, are key management measures that help to restore threatened species populations, thereby contributing to the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

However, the success of such translocations often varies due to ecological and human factors that remain poorly understood. As a result, the decision on where to release animals is often based solely on expert knowledge and habitat selection analyses of animals from their source environment. 

Dr Miha Krofel explained how the project’s objective is linked to improved selection of release sites: “The main objective of this project is to improve the selection of release sites for the population reinforcements of species or reintroduction of extinct species. The key is to start using empirical data on the actual behaviour of animals after their release.” To do this, the researchers will employ advanced animal movement analysis and computer simulations developed on the basis of data from conservation projects for the population reinforcement and reintroduction of two charismatic European cat species: the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) in Slovenia and Croatia and the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) in Spain and Portugal. 


Photo by: dr. Miha Krofel

Dr Mariano Recio said the following about the project: “The LYNXONTHEMOVE project aims to optimise future lynx translocations and thus the success of such projects in two different ways. First, we will develop models of the movements of lynx after release and prior to the establishment of permanent territories, taking into account different ecological and human factors, and second, we will develop a software tool – LynxOnTheMove – to simulate lynx movements and predict optimal release sites for different translocation scenarios.”

RecioThe multidisciplinary research will combine geo-spatial methods with findings from reintroduction science, conservation biology and animal behavioural ecology. MSCA Fellow Dr Mariano Recio has extensive research experience in these fields, which he obtained in New Zealand and Europe. He will combine this experience with the expertise of his mentor Dr Miha Krofel in the fields of ecology and conservation of carnivores in Eurasia and Africa. 

The LYNXONTHEMOVE project will foster valuable knowledge transfer and enable the planned research to be carried out, which is of great importance for the conservation of endangered cat species in Europe and elsewhere. The researchers will communicate their findings through scientific publications, conference contributions, seminars and workshops, as well as through popular publications and the media. The project will provide valuable training for Dr Recio and enable him to pursue a career as an independent researcher. Dr Miha Krofel added: “The results of the project will be of benefit to scientists, as well as managers, stakeholders and the general public, who are often very interested in large beasts.”


Financira EU_eng


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