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November 20, 2017  |  Login

Iberian Lynx
Lynx pardinus

What Are They Like?

The Iberian lynx, also known as the Spanish lynx, is currently the most endangered wild cat in the world. Iberian lynx are sometimes mistaken for bobcats due to their small size and short tail. They measure 34-43 inches (86-109 centimeters) in length and weigh 22-29 pounds (10-13 kilograms). The coat of the Iberian lynx is grey or a light brownish-yellow in color and patterned with several dark spots. Prominent features of the Iberian lynx are dark ear tufts and flared facial ruffs, which give it a "bearded" appearance.

Where Do They Live?

Iberian lynx are found in isolated areas within southern Spain. They mainly inhabit Mediterranean forests, woodlands and scrub.

 
Did You Know?
The long tufts of fur on the tips of the Iberian lynx's ears aid with hearing.

How Are Babies Made?

A mother typically gives birth to two to three cubs at a time. The gestation period for an Iberian lynx is about 60 days. Cubs will become independent from their mother after seven to ten months.

What Do They Eat?

Their diet primarily consists of European rabbit, but sometimes, when rabbits are scarce, they are forced to eat other prey such as deer, rodents and birds.

 

What Do They Do?

These are nocturnal animals and prefer dense scrub for shelter, and open pastures for hunting. Adult lynx tend to live alone in scent-marked territories.

How Concerned Should We Be?

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which keeps a "Red List" of species in danger worldwide, lists the Iberian Lynx as "critically endangered." With only 84-143 estimated to exist in the wild, this species is on the brink of extinction. The severe depletion of its main food source, the European rabbit, is the primary reason for the sharp population decline. The destruction and fragmentation of this cat's natural habitats due to agricultural and industrial expansion are also contributing factors to the population decrease.

What's Being Done?

The World Wildlife Fund(WWF) has made conservation efforts such as the creation of the Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe (LCIE), which has led to the development of an action plan for the Iberian lynx, among other species. With only two breeding populations remaining in the wild, strong conservation plans and actions are imperative to the survival of the Iberian lynx.

 

Stunning Iberian lynx could be the first big cat to become extinct since the saber-toothed cat

 
 
 
 
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