Tag Archives: Iberian Lynx

Reintroducion of Iberian lynx to Catalonia and Aragon

From the most endangered cat species in the world to a success story for managed wildlife protection schemes, the reintroducion of the Iberian lynx to Catalonia and Aragon seems to be the next step forward with the project being supported by the Spanish Government and an area of around 30,000 hectares being studied for suitability.

The Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) has been absent from Catalonia and Aragon for over a century but in 2018 an introduced lynx called “Litio” managed to reach Santa Coloma de Cervelló just 15 minutes from Barcelona, ​​after making a seemingly impossible 1000 km journey crossing motorways, rivers and mountains from the Portuguese Algarve.

Litio” was later captured (in lynx heaven one supposes) on a farm surrounded by rabbits and cherry trees and returned to Doñana (Huelva), where the species has one of its largest populations.

There are two main areas of studies for this project with the first being a suitable habitat with food supply (rabbits) for the reintroduction of the species in an area that includes 10,000 hectares of Aragón and 20,000 in Catalonia and the second (being larger and more difficult) with the study and implementation of wildlife “corridors” connecting some of the eastern Iberian populations of lynx.

Reintroduction habitat

The initial field work in both Catalonia and Aragón has located possible ideal habitats, with an abundance of prey such as rabbits, shelters such as rock and scrub and with little human infrastructure. In Catalonia the location is the Mas Melons-Alfés area, a natural space already protected by the Natura 2000 network, between the Garrigues and Segrià regions south of Lleida and adjacent to Aragón. In Aragón the chosen area is the Sierra de Alcubierre, located at the western limit of Los Monegros. (Los Monegros is also being studied for posible inclusion as national Park)

Wildlife corridors and project coperation

The initial idea would be to create a corridor from the east, linking the regions of Valencia, Murcia, Catalonia and Aragón. The plan is also to cooperate with existing and new lynx projects such as the two new lynx re introduction areas, one in Lorca (Murcia) and the other in Sierra Arana (Granada) which already have funding of almost 20 million euros over the next five years. (In Valencia, there is also a project run by the Cardenal Herrera University to study the viability of lynx reintroductions in the Valencian Community).

It seems that all the experts are agreeing that the only way forward now for the Iberian Lynx is the natural mixing of the various lynx populations across Iberia in order to ensure a complete genetic diversity of the species.

Further reading on the Reintroducion of Iberian lynx to Catalonia and Aragon

The PreLynxCatAr project will 12 months and in its preliminary phase the suitability of the territory, already defined, will be studied to assess the risks (such as roads) and its population of rabbits. It is being carried out by CBD-Hábitat, CREW Foundation, Trenca, Zoo de Barcelona and the Fundación Biodiversidad del Ministerio para la Transición Ecológica y el Reto Demográfico del Gobierno de España.

Article in Spanish here (El Pais): https://elpais.com/clima-y-medio-ambiente/2021-07-23/el-lince-iberico-se-acerca-a-cataluna-y-aragon.html

Read more about the Iberian Lynx here: https://wildsideholidays.co.uk/iberian-lynx-lynx-pardinus-lince-iberico/

Iberia Nature Forum

Discover the Iberia Nature Forum – Environment, geography, nature, landscape, climate, culture, history, rural tourism and travel.

Iberia Nature Forum: https://iberianatureforum.com/

23 Iberian lynx cubs born in breeding centers in 2021

Great news to hear that 23 Iberian lynx have been cubs born in 2021 at the breeding centers of El Acebuche, in the Doñana National Park (Huelva) and in Zarza de Granadilla (Cáceres).

Fifteen males and eight females in total with 10 males and 2 females born in four litters in the Zarza de Granadilla facilities and the remaining 11 cubs (5 males and 6 females) in the El Acebuche centre from four litters.

Since the creation of the captive breeding project, 238 Iberian lynx have been born in the centers of which 150 have been released in the different areas of the Iberian Peninsula where reintroduction and / or reinforcement actions of the species are being carried out.

To date, 238 specimens of Iberian lynx have been born in the breeding centres of El Acebuche and Zarza de Granadilla with 150 released in different areas of the Iberian Peninsula.
23 Iberian lynx cubs born in breeding centers in 2021. To date, 238 specimens of Iberian lynx have been born in the breeding centres of El Acebuche and Zarza de Granadilla with 150 released in different areas of the Iberian Peninsula.

An interesting feature during the early weeks of Iberian lynx litters is that they go through a phase of aggressive behavior with each other at around seven weeks of age in which the cubs establish their hierarchy based on aggressions that can sometimes can end with the death of one of them. The good news is that five of the eight litters have now passed this aggressive phase and the technicians of the centers are confident that the remaining three will also go through this phase without any issues.

The next phase in the lives of the cubs is to decide whether they remain in captivity as part of the breeding programme as reproducers or if they will be prepared for release into the wild.

In 2021, a total of 27 lynxes have been released within the Iberian Lynx breeding program with four individuals coming from El Acebuche and five from Granadilla. (The remaining from other breeding centres in both Spain and Portugal)

An all-time high for the species

As a result of joint efforts to conserve the Iberian lynx over the last 20 years, the most recent study shows that the lynx population in Spain and Portugal has reached an all-time high for the species with a count of 1,111 recorded in both Spain and Portugal (Iberian peninsular) according to the date from 2020. Remember that in 2002 fewer than 100 specimens were counted giving it the name of the “Most endangered feline in the world” so this recent news now places it as one of the most successful conservation programs for felines in the world.

Read more about the Iberian Lynx here: https://wildsideholidays.co.uk/iberian-lynx-lynx-pardinus-lince-iberico

Keep up to date with news and information about the Iberian Lynx and other Iberian wildlife at the Iberia Nature Forum: https://iberianatureforum.com/

Image and text source: https://www.lamoncloa.gob.es/serviciosdeprensa/notasprensa/transicion-ecologica/Paginas/2021/020621-lince.aspx

11 new lynx cubs at the El Acebuche Iberian Lynx Breeding Center

The El Acebuche Iberian Lynx Breeding Center, in the Doñana National Park has registered four litters with 11 cubs born this 2021 breeding season which has now finished. This is double compared to last year even though of the 7 pairs at the centre only 4 females gave birth. The eleven cubs are in perfect health though there is one that is being hand reared as the mother showed no interest in caring for it.

Read more about Iberian Lynx here.

Read more about Doñana national Park here.

Four new lynx cubs are born at the El Acebuche breeding center in Almonte (Huelva)

The Iberian Lynx “ex situ” captive breeding center, located in Almonte (Doñana Natural Park) has registered the birth of four new lynx cubs born at the El Acebuche breeding center.

The news was published on the Facebook page of the captive breeding program.

The breeding season in the Lynx Ex-situ Conservation Program continues and new births are expected in the coming days.

For the current breeding season of 2021, 28 breeding pairs have been established in the ex situ conservation program of the Iberian lynx in various breeding centres and it is estimated that around 40 cubs will be born this year.

Read more about the Iberian Lynx on the Wildside Holidays Nature information pages:

Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) Lince Ibérico

Iberia Nature Forum

Struggling with identifying those bugs and beasties? Why not check out the Iberia nature Forum!

Discover the Iberia Nature Forum – Environment, geography, nature, landscape, climate, culture, history, rural tourism and travel.

27 Iberian lynx to be released this year

Of the Iberian lynx born in captivity in 2020, 27 individuals will be released into the wild in 2021.

Six have already been released with two in the Guadiana Valley Natural Park (Alentejo, Portugal) and another four in the reintroduction areas of Castilla La Mancha (two in Polán,Toledo and two in Torre Juan Abad, Ciudad Real.

These lynx will only be around year old when they are released so I guess that they will face some troubles in finding their place in the wild but it is hoped that they will survive well and continue on to find mates.

The most recent census shows that the lynx poluation in the wild of Iberia stands at 894 individuals.

All the lynx are given a full vetinary check up and are fitted with tracking collares before they are released.

Time will tell but with issues regarding the education of people in the areas where the lynx is expanding and food supply (rabbit) we still may see a struggle for these newly released specimens.

Read more about the missing lynx here.

Read more about Iberian lynx here.

Last years (2020) Lynx cubs fitted with tracking collars

The monitoring and veterinary team for the protection of the Iberian lynx recently fitted GPS tracking collars to several of the cubs born in 2020 at the El Acebuche Iberian lynx breeding center close to El Rocio in Huelva province.

They have also had full medical exams and once the results of the analytics are obtained the cubs will be approved for release later this year in Portugal, Extremadura and Castilla-La Mancha.

Quite a few people are commenting about the size of the collars being fitted with some going as far to say thay they are cruel and stop the lynx from hunting. Others say they should have reflective strips on them to help them being seen at night on roads.

I presume the tracking collars are this large and bulky size to help with identification of individuals at a greater distance.

Iberian Lynx vet checkup
Iberian Lynx cub vet checkup before being released into the wild later this year (2021)

Read more about the Iberian lynx in English here…
Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) Lince Ibérico

the official Spanish site is here.