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: New class of insecticides offers safer, more targeted mosquito control

Related Stories

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. ...

Europe's bison, beavers and bears bounce back

Sep 26, 2013

Several European animal and bird species driven to near extinction by humans have made a dramatic comeback in the past 50 years thanks to conservation efforts, a report said Thursday.

Recommended for you

Scientists discover new 'transformer frog' in Ecuador

8 hours ago

It doesn't turn into Prince Charming, but a new species of frog discovered in Ecuador has earned the nickname "transformer frog" for its ability to change its skin from spiny to smooth in five minutes.

Longer DNA fragments reveal rare species diversity

8 hours ago

A challenge in metagenomics is that the more commonly used sequencing machines generate data in short lengths, while short-read assemblers may not be able to distinguish among multiple occurrences of the ...

Scientists say polar bears won't thrive on land food

8 hours ago

A group of researchers say polar bears forced off melting sea ice will not find enough food to replace their current diet of fat-laden marine mammals such as seals, a conclusion that contradicts studies indicating ...

The vital question: Why is life the way it is?

10 hours ago

The Vital Question: Why is life the way it is? is a new book by Nick Lane that is due out on April 23rd. His question is not one for a static answer but rather one for a series of ever sharper explanations—explanations that a ...

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.