Articles in ‘Iberian lynx’
July 3rd, 2014
Today marks the beginning of the reintroduction of lynx in the central region of the Iberian Peninsula (Sierra Morena) by the LIFE+Iberlince program. This area of Spain is considered to be one the historic distribution areas for this species and the release zone has been selected for future populations with a lot habitat preparation work going on in the area for several years such as rabbit introduction and under road tunnels so that the animals can cross safely.
Hopefully, This initiative will allow the establishment of a new population, as well as allow connection with the close by reintroduction area of Guarrizas, which has already established itself as an area for lynx expansion and several stable and reproductively active individuals
The selection of the animals come from the breeding centres of Andalucia, Extremadura and Portugal with the need to ensure maximum genetic variability as well as sex ratio for the natural population.
Before being released, the lynx have had full veterinary health checks and photographic records of their flanks taken plus they are fitted with GPS collars.
There is a great live feed from the breeding centre in Acebuche (Doñana) here….
And please join in on the conversations over at the iberianature forum
April 10th, 2014
The first example of the Iberian lynx conservation and breeding program “Esperanza” (Hope in English) has died of old age and ill health
She was discovered in march 2001 by Miguel Delibes in the Coto del Rey are of Doñana National park with three siblings. One was already dead and another in a critical condition. one young healthy cub was taken to the recovery centre at Zoobotánico Jerez. (presumably leaving the other surviving cub with with her mother?) she was named “Hope” because of the possibility of starting a breeding project to help recover the species and was hand reared at the zoo. When she was 5 months old she was moved to the breeding center of Acebuche close to the town of El Rocio in the Doñana National Park.
From there the success story continued, she was the second female to breed in captivity and had three litters with a total of 5 cubs. She surprised may due to her excellent maternal behavior despite having beed reared by humans with bottled milk and of course the absence of other individuals of her species. In 2009 she was affected by a chronic kidney disease at an advanced stage , later that year she was also diagnosed with a breast tumor that was removed in June 2010.
In November 2010 Hope was retired to Jerez Zoo (one of the breeding centres for the project) as she was no longer viable for the breeding program. For the first time in 2013 the non viable lynx were available for the public to view whilst the viable breeders remained in the off-limits breeding areas. Recently her health deteriorated as a result of old age (she just turned 13) and the last stages of renal failure. Esperanza was moved to a facility away from public viewing and given veterinary care but Yesterday (9th April 2014) and after reaching an advanced state of suffering the decision was made to euthanize her.
During the last 13 years, Hope has been one of the most news covered Iberian lynx and has added a lot to the social and educational awareness of the species. She was the first hand reared lynx and and fairly soon her first cub called “Cynara” will give birth to her own first litter.
Dating back to 2009 with an incredible 63,000 views why not join in at the Iberian lynx topic at the forum. Click here.
November 3rd, 2013
Distribution of the Iberian lynx in Andalucia in 2012. The latest census (2013 but figures for 2012) give some 305 lynxes in the wild and 85 females with territories. Source Crónica Verde
October 4th, 2013
Good article comparing the relative efforts of Spain and Scotland to save its endangered felines: the Iberian lynx and the Scottish wildcat. The first, principally the Andalucian government, has spent 30 million euros, the latter,just 200,000. The lynx is on its rocky way to some form of recovery, while the wildcat looks likes becoming extinct within a decade or two. Here in the Guardian
July 22nd, 2013
Some good news from Spain for a change: the remarkable success of the Iberian lynx conservation programme so far, which has seen the lynx’s population triple to some 312 individuals in Andalucia since 2002.
I would say the importance of its success goes beyond Spain: if Europe had been incapable of preventing the extinction of a major predator (and a completely harmless one to humans), how could it then go on to preach wildlife conservation under far more difficult circumstances to developing countries?
The image shows an Iberian lynx born in captivity taking its first step into the wild in Despeñaperros natural park,
More in El País here and good summary here by Stephen Burgen in The Guardian.