Iberian lynx population 2017

The latest information on the ‘Iberian lynx population 2017’ is from a survey completed in 2012 by a scientist whose name is Simón (and his colleagues). They estimated that the population has increased to 156 mature individuals living in two subpopulations (there are 2 separate areas where this cat lives). In addition there has been a threefold increase in the area occupied by this extremely rare and critically endangered medium-sized wild cat species to just over 1000 km².

Iberian lynx
Iberian lynx. Photo in public domain.
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After near extinction for many years, there is now a gradual increase in population size thank to a committed and protracted effort. Clearly it takes a near catastrophe for humans to change their habits and stop shooting this cat or its prey. The main goal of conservation is to increase the rabbit population in this cat’s habitat. There’s been restocking of rabbits apparently and the acquisition of rabbit hunting rights. I presume that the latter is to stop hunters from killing rabbits. Further, the area is regularly monitored for illegal traps. It is surprising that people put down illegal traps in an area where this precious species of cat lives. There also been awareness campaigns to educate the local population.

Some adult lynx have been relocated to avoid inbreeding in one of the sub-populations. This is always a fear because below a certain cat population level inbreeding takes place leading to sterility which in turn leads to gradual extinction.

In the future there will be further efforts to enhance the habitat of the Iberian lynx and further increase prey density. There will also be attempts to reduce the incidence of Iberian lynx being killed on roads or through game management. Further disease transmitted by domestic animals to Iberian Lynx will be prevented.

The Iberian lynx is one of four different lynx cats, the others being the Canada lynx, Eurasian lynx and bobcat.

Source: IUCN Red List.

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