The Iberian lynx is saved from extinction

It is one of the rarest feline species in the world. A report from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) provides data on this threatened animal. And he says that the Iberian lynx is saved from extinction for now.

This organization classifies species on a “red list” according to the level of risk they face. Now it has removed the Iberian lynx from the “endangered” category and placed it in “vulnerable.” It was after registering a significant increase in the number of animals.

The Iberian lynx is saved from extinction, for now.
The Iberian lynx is saved from extinction, for now.

effortful recovery

Their population grew from 62 mature individuals in 2001 to 648 in 2022. But now they have an estimated population of more than 2,000, the IUCN reported. This species has its home in the Iberian region, that is, in Spain and Portugal.

In both countries, there are 14 “population nuclei” in which animals are stable and reproducing. Of them, 13 are located in Spain and one in Portugal. This wild cat used to be common throughout the Iberian Peninsula. But starting in the 1960s their numbers plummeted. Habitat loss, poaching and traffic accidents contributed to pushing the species to the brink of extinction.

The recovery of this species is largely due to the conservation efforts made. One of them, increase the number of wild rabbits, their main food. It is “the greatest recovery of a feline species ever achieved through conservation,” said Francisco Javier Salcedo Ortiz. He is coordinator of the conservation initiative. He warned that there is still “a lot of work to do.” Since “looking forward, there are plans to reintroduce the Iberian lynx in new locations in central and northern Spain,” he added.

Significant conservation efforts are bearing fruit.
Significant conservation efforts are bearing fruit.

The first litter

“We had to learn how to cope with them in captivity and prepare the cubs to live in the wild,” he recalls. In March 2005, a female named Saliega gave birth to three cubs. It was the first litter achieved in captivity. Thus, slowly, the Iberian lynx is saved from extinction.

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species was established in 1964. It evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive source of information on the global conservation status of animal, fungal and plant species.

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