Hunters have until March 31st to fill the quota of 118 lynx, 39 fewer than last year.
In setting the quota so low, the ministry rejected a recommendation presented before Christmas by regional committees tasked with monitoring the country’s population of predatory animals. The committees had called for the quota to be set at 157 of the elusive wildcats.
Lars Haltbrekken, from the Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature, welcomed the decision to restrict the quota.
“This is very pleasing and absolutely necessary to secure a vibrant lynx population,” he said.
Norway’s lynx population totalled around 470 animals in 2010, according to figures from the Directorate for Nature Management.
The population has stabilized since year-round hunting led to its near-eradication in the 1930s, the directorate said.