Two Iberian Lynx Cubs Released into the Wild

Iberian Lynx – Photo Credit: www.lynxexsitu.es

Iberian Lynx – Photo Credit: http://www.lynxexsitu.es

The Big Cats Wilds Cat blog reported last week that two Iberian lynx cubs born at the Silves reproduction centre in southern Portugal were released in the Guarrizas valley in Spain.

The Iberian lynx, also known as the Pardel lynx and Spanish lynx, is a small wild cat and is listed as Critically Endangered.

There was a time when the Iberian lynx roamed throughout the entire Iberian Peninsula, an area of land which currently includes parts of France, Spain, Portugal, Andorra, and Gibraltar.

The reasons for the cat’s decline include the loss of its main prey (rabbits) due to disease and over-hunting, habitat destruction, poaching, poisoning, feral dogs, and being hit by vehicles.  These factors are all too familiar.

According to the IUCN, several years ago there were less than 150 adult Iberian lynx in existence, spread between two breeding populations in south-western Spain. Today, however, there is a population of approximately 300 Iberian lynx living in the wild. There are also reports of a small population of cats in Portugal.

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