FLORINA, Greece -- The Arcturos Environmental Centre is about to provide a home to three extremely rare Eurasian lynxes (Lynx lynx), a rare species that has entirely disappeared in Greece. The three individuals - Dorai (10 years old), Carmen (11 years old) and Missi (two years old) - are coming to Greece from the Naturland park in Andorra, which is closing down, along with four wolves.
It is estimated that fewer than 50 lynxes still live in the wild, putting the Balkan sub-species of lynx in the critically endangered list.
"Wanting to establish protection of the lynx and to create the conditions enabling its return to our country, Arcturos is proceeding to convert the Wolf Sanctuary to a Wolf and Lynx Protection Centre," an Arcturos announcement said, adding that a special wing will be created that will be capable of housing additional lynxes in the future.
According to Arcturos, the disappearance of the lynx was the result of the destruction of huge lowland forests, expansion of agriculture and increasing population in the countryside. One cause was the loss of smaller prey animals, such as wild goats and roe deer, that lynxes mainly fed on.