New population of Iberian lynx raises hope, says World Wildlife Fund

Oct 23, 2007

Spanish authorities have announced they have discovered a previously unknown population of Iberian lynx, triggering hope for one of the world’s most endangered cat species, said World Wildlife Fund today.

“We are excited and amazed by this discovery,” said Luis Suarez, head of WWF’s Species Program in Spain. “However, we are a long way from saving the Iberian lynx from imminent extinction.”

It appears that the new population was discovered in previously unsurveyed estates in Castilla - La Mancha (Central Spain). This Iberian community is one of the most sparsely populated of Spain's autonomous communities.

At present, the exact numbers and location of the newly discovered population are being kept confidential, but the population is thought to be made up of both adults and cubs.

Until the exact location is known, conservationists cannot confirm if this population is genetically distinct from the larger and more stable population of lynx found in Andujar (South).

According to the most recent comprehensive survey prior to this discovery, there were about 100 adult Iberian lynx in two isolated breeding populations in southern Spain. The population is thought to have since risen to some 110 adults.

The Iberian Lynx faces myriad threats - a lack of prey, accidental deaths from cars and trucks on Spanish roads, and new construction work destroying habitats.

WWF is calling for all Lynx habitat to be covered by the EU's Natura 2000 Program, which offers the strongest level of protection in Europe, something that still hasn’t happened despite years of petition.

“We hope this discovery reinvigorates action in Spain to save the world’s most endangered cat species. If Europe cannot take responsibility for Europe’s ‘tiger’, then shame on us all,” Suarez added.

Source: World Wildlife Fund

Explore further: Biologists demonstrate how signals in plant roots determine the activity of stem cells

Related Stories

Black vultures return to southern Portugal

Apr 03, 2015

After four decades, Eurasian black vultures have finally returned to Portugal's Alentejo region to nest – using artificial platforms constructed by conservationists.

Ticks can adapt to the Spain's climatic diversity

Mar 29, 2012

Carnivores in the Iberian Peninsula, such as the Iberian lynx, are under an increasingly serious threat: ticks that can adapt to changing climatic conditions and that can even survive in extremely arid environments. ...

Recommended for you

Bacterial tenants in fungal quarters

5 hours ago

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich researchers have sequenced the genome of a bacterial symbiont hosted by a mycorrhizal fungus. Analysis of the symbiont's genetic endowment reveals previously unknown ...

Natural enzyme examined as antibiotics alternative

8 hours ago

In 1921, Alexander Fleming discovered the antimicrobial powers of the enzyme lysozyme after observing diminished bacterial growth in a Petri dish where a drop from his runny nose had fallen. The famed Scottish ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.