The remnant population of Balkan lynx Lynx lynx martinoi is small, isolated and highly threatened. Since 2006 a conservation project has surveyed its status and promoted its recovery in Albania and Macedonia. Eurasian lynx are often associated with conflicts of an economic or social nature, and their conservation requires a focus on the people sharing the landscape with the species. In this study we adopt methods and conceptual frameworks from anthropology to explore the local knowledge and perceptions of lynx among rural hunters and livestock breeders in the western mountains of the Republic of Macedonia in south-east Europe. The main finding was that local people rarely saw or interacted with lynx. As the level of interactions with this species is very low, the lynx doesn’t appear to be a species associated with conflicts in Macedonia. There was also a general lack of both scientific and local knowledge, which has led to somewhat negative attitudes, mainly based on myths and rumours. Poaching of lynx and their prey seem to be the main barriers to lynx conservation.