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: Aggressive conifer removal benefits Sierra aspen

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

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.

Iberian lynx threatened by climate change

Jul 21, 2013

Climate change could drive the Iberian lynx ‒ the world's most threatened cat – to extinction within 50 years, despite substantial ongoing conservation efforts, a new international study has found.

Recommended for you

Scientists develop 3-D model of regulator protein bax

36 minutes ago

Scientists at Freie Universität Berlin, the University of Tubingen, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) provide a new 3D model of the protein Bax, a key regulator of cell death. When active, Bax ...

Evolution: The genetic connivances of digits and genitals

17 hours ago

During the development of mammals, the growth and organization of digits are orchestrated by Hox genes, which are activated very early in precise regions of the embryo. These "architect genes" are themselves regulated by ...

Study: Volunteering can help save wildlife

17 hours ago

Participation of non-scientists as volunteers in conservation can play a significant role in saving wildlife, finds a new scientific research led by Duke University, USA, in collaboration with Wildlife Conservation ...

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.