For some time now I wanted to visit the Bavarian Forest National Park (Nationalpark Bayerischer Wald), which was the first national park in Germany, founded on October 7th 1970.
The national park covers 24,250 hectares and is located in the Eastern Bavarian Forest on the German and Cezch Republic border.
Together with the neighboring Czech Bohemian Forest the Bavarian Forest forms the largest contiguous area of forest in Central Europe.
My main reason for visiting the park was photographing the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), the largest of the four lynx species and the third largest predator in Europe after the brown bear and the grey wolf.
In the 1970s and later in the 1980s there were a number of reintroduction programs to bring the lynx back to the region and at present the population is estimated to 50-70 animals in a 18,000 km2 area.
Although the Eurasian lynx -with a total population of 10,000 individuals- is listed as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List since 2008, dispersal and long-term sustainability is still severely hampered by human-caused morality like poaching and the loss of habitat.
During my 5 day stay, I photographed the lynx in what is called “Tierfreigelände”, (very) wide confinements where the animals generally live freely.
These large Tierfreigelände are beneficial for the well being of the animals but bring some challenges to visitors and photographers. Binoculars, long lenses and a lot of patience were required to get the shots I wanted.
Equipment used :
Nikon 200-500 f/5,6
Nikon 300 f/2,8
Nikon 1,4 TC II
Lowepro Pro Trekker 600 AW
Special thanks :
To Doreen and Martin for their hospitality.