The Athenas Lynx Protection Center inaugurated its new Lynx reception building Friday on April 12, 2019.
This new wooden complex of 800 m² is now the largest in Europe for the reception of individuals victims of collisions or for the breeding of orphan young Lynx. It is the result of several years of reflection on its design,the first drafts being were made in 2012. The success of this project was made possible thanks to a strong commitment of the many volunteers of the association but also thanks to the sponsorship.
Facing the increasing numbers of arrivals, the center took the decision in 2016 to appeal to sponsorship to finance this project. It was then that Eiffage responded by sponsoring skills by mobilizing its earthworks subsidiary Forezienne d’entreprises located in Saint-Étienne.
The earthworks consisted in creating a path and a platform to accommodate the semi-open wooden building for the animals welcome.
Eiffage is the second sponsor of this project up to 20.74% after the Bourgogne Franche Comté region (26.33%). This project represents an investment of nearly € 370,000 and a volunteer commitment of about 1,000 hours of work. It should be noted that the association used 100% local companies and favoured local materials for the construction.
The site allows to shelter three times more individuals than in the past premises - a total of 25 individuals - with facilities that meet the necessary modernization of infrastructure and quarantine options for the individuals at risk through a system of hatches and transfer corridors. Individuals will even have the possibility to leave the building in an outdoor enclosure of 1000m².
It should be noted that the Athenas center, which covers eleven departments, collects and treats about 2500 animals per year (for 1300 released in the wild after care). Since 1989, it has also collected 52 lynxes and carried out fourteen releases. A fifteenth is planned soon but the species remains more than ever threatened.
A new agreement signed between Eiffage and Athenas in 2019 will fund part of the equipment of a dedicated Lynx infirmary.
Today, this partnership is also extended with growing collaboration with APRR regional entities for donations of animals from motorway collisions, donations of equipment and so on.
Contacts : Clément Bourge - DDDIT