La Olivilla

Outlook optimistic for lynx

December 1st, 2008

Photo from La Olivilla centre in Jaén (EFE). The latest news on the Iberian lynx bodes well for the future of the species. Speaking at the III Seminario de Conservación del Lince Ibérico in November. Urs Breitenmoser, feline expert with the World Conservation Union stated “We have gone from a critical reality of extinction to a situation of just vulnerability. El Pais.

This year a total of 82 Iberian lynx were born, including 21 in captivity, and including cubs there now may be as many as 200 lynxes in Spain, up from 100 in 2002. In addition, more than 50 lynxes are doing their bit in the various captive breeding centres. A record 13 cubs born in captivity have survived this year. The first releases of captive lynxes in the wild are set for autumn 2009 in Guadalmellato, Cordoba. El Mundo There is, however, still a very, very long way to go. It is worth remember that as late as the early 1960s there were still between 5,000 and 6,000 iberian lynxes in the Peninsula.

Meanwhile, the Junta de Castilla-La Mancha has confirmed the presence of lynxes the Montes de Toledo made up of at least 15 animals and 3 breeding territories. The photo below was taken by an automatic camera tracking these Castillian lynxes, which well provide vital genetic variation to the Doñana and Sierra Morena lynxes. El Mundo

61 lynx cubs born in Sierra Morena

November 10th, 2008

Good news for the Iberian lynx. According to the Andalusian government, 61 lynx cubs were born this year in Sierra Morena, beating the record in recent years of 2006. This is more evidence that the Life Project is working. The population of lynx in the Sierra Morena could now be as high as 180 including cubs, doubling the figure for 2002. This will allow more lynx to be transferred to Doñana to avoid endogamy in the population there (though other problems will have to be solved). The news was announced during the opening of the second Iberian lynx captive breeding centre La Olivilla in Jaén. The centre has a number of large breeding cages and bigger pens for hunting. Junta de Andalucia

The official figures for cubs born in the Sierra Morena on the last seven years are:

2002 24
2003 17
2004 31
2005 29
2006 57
2007 22
2008 61

It is estimated that around 40% of these will have died in their first year. Others may have dispersed to new areas such Castilla-La Mancha.

Lynx cub news

April 10th, 2008

The Iberian lynx breeding programme is expecting five more female lynxes to give birth this week in El Acebuche, Doñana and two at the new La Olivilla centre in Santa Elena, Jaén. The mother’s names are Esperanza, Aura and Aliaga (El Acebuche) and Castañuela and Barraca – (La Olivilla). Last weekend Adelfa and Boj also gave birth to litters in El Acebuche. Terra

Video here of Boj and her cubs

On the negative side three lynx cubs have been found dead in the Coto del Rey, apparently from malnutricion. The litter of four were micro-chipped at the end of March when, according to WWF/Adena, two of them should have been taken from their mother due to the unlikelyhood of them all surviving naturally. According to their sources, the cubs weren’t in the best of health then. Follow this on the forum

Photos from Programa de Conservación Ex-Situ del Lince ibérico