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Balkan wildlife faces extinction threat from border fence to control migrants

posted Apr 5, 2017, 2:31 AM by Huntsymposium2018 Bulgaria - Sofia
In the article by Arthur Neslen , published in The Guardian,  You can read about  Controversial razor-wire fence put up by Slovenia along its border with Croatia could wipe out local bear, lynx and wolf populations, say researchers.
The death toll of animals killed by a razor wire fence designed to stop migrants crossing into Europe is mounting, amid warnings that bears, lynx and wolves could become locally extinct if the barrier is completed and consolidated.

The rising tally of dead roe and red deer is still mercifully small, but contested by local people who claim that it is being systematically under-counted.

Slovenia began erecting the barrier across 180km of its river border with Croatia last winter, as a temporary measure to staunch the flow of asylum seekers, mostly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Inadvertently, it has also created a huge obstacle to animals freely moving across the border in a wildlife rich corner of Europe.

Geographical isolation would throw the continued survival of the region’s 10 wolf packs into doubt, disrupting centuries-old mating migration routes, according to a peer-reviewed paper published in the journal PLOS Biology.

Other carnivores could fare even worse. “For the Dinaric lynx, the construction of the razor wire fence may just be the last push for the population to spiral down the extinction vortex,” the study’s authors said.

The mountain cat was only reintroduced to the Dinaric mountain chain in 1973, after human activity wiped it out.

Most of the animals killed by the razor wire so far have been roe and red deer, but it is yet to reach key forest areas. Stretches of the barrier are already covered by vegetation or seasonally submerged by the 292 km-long Kolpa river, which straddles the two countries’ border.

Many of the deer are thought to have strayed into the fence while foraging. Once snagged, they propel themselves further into the concertina wire in a bid to escape, only tangling themselves further before eventually dying from blood loss, or exhaustion.

Read more at TheGuardian