Lynx hunting banned this season in Latvia

The State Forest Service (VMD) said December 23 it will not be working out the permissible amount of lynx that can be hunted during the 2021/2022 hunting season and will not be issuing any lynx hunting permits.

Such a decision is related to changing the status of lynx in hunting, the VMD said, considering that it is intended to make amendments to Cabinet regulations regarding the list of specially protected species and restricted specially protected species, which will define the Eurasian lynx as a specially protected species,

The VMD decided not to set the permitted amount of lynx hunting during this season and will therefore not issue lynx hunting permits.

The decision was taken following a conversation with the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, and the Nature Conservation Agency, which has competence for the monitoring of specially protected species.

As previously reported by LSM, the last year has seen a campaign gathering momentum to stop the hunting of the wild cats in Latvia.

The Habitats Directive of the Council of Europe prohibits the hunting of this protected species of European interest, providing only for certain exceptional cases, including if Latvia is able to demonstrate that the number of animals is sufficient and not decreasing. According to the VMD, the lynx population is "stable with a slight upward trend."

Fir the 2020/2021 hunting season the amount of lynx that could be hunted was set at 80 animals, but included a ban on the hunting of female lynx with babies born last spring.

Additional rules are also in place regarding who can hunt lynx and how. Before the lynx is moved from the place where it was hunted, it must be photographed and reported, along with information including the date of hunting and GPS coordinates. However, it is likely that illegal hunting also takes place.

Hunting of wolves has not been halted. The VMD has determined that during the 2021/2022 hunting season 280 wolves can be hunted, the same number as during the last four hunting seasons.

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