WWF and its partners are working to restore the Iberian lynx to areas where it used to live. Their numbers were decimated by rapid habitat loss, with scrublands converted to agriculture and pine and eucalyptus plantations. “On a more emotional level, the lynx is a jewel and a thing of beauty to behold.”, Available for everyone, funded by readers. ONCE on the endangered-species list, Spain’s native Iberian lynx population is thriving, having grown from just 94 animals located in Andalucia in 2004 to nearly 700 nationwide in the most-recently conducted census by wildlife monitoring teams. They have confirmed the "extreme erosion" suffered by its DNA. “Every species has an intrinsic value that can’t be lost – it would be like demolishing a cathedral,” he says. By the 1960’s, they were largely confined to Spain, covering around 10% of the surface of Spain. The most rare of the lynx species, the Iberian lynx, is the most threatened cat species, currently on the verge of extinction. Since 2002, the population size has steadily increased in the Andalusian subpopulations, although in 2013 and 2014 this recovery has suffered a halt due to the decline in prey populations. The Lynx from the Iberian Peninsula: Highly Endangered 13 November, 2020 Even if it’s true that the recovery plans for the species are working, the fact is that … Pérez de Ayala is also upbeat about the future of the lynx and hopes to see it move from the endangered category of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of threatened species into the vulnerable category. The Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) is considered the most endangered wild feline species in the world and the only feline listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (2010). The Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) is a wildcat native to the Iberian Peninsula in the southwestern part of Europe. the numbers are low as 100 and they were on the verge of extinction. The first half on how the Iberian Lynx became critically endangered. Our first aim was just to stop them becoming extinct.”. “Today, the situation is pretty good and I think we can be optimistic and fairly calm because we haven’t just recovered the population in Andalucía, we’ve also built populations in Portugal – where the lynx was extinct – and in Extremadura and Castilla-La Mancha,” says Simón. “If we carry on, if we can maintain the population growth momentum, and if luck stays on our side, we’ll have at least 750 females of reproductive age – which means more than 3,000 lynxes in total – by 2040,” he says. There are four main factors contributing towards their decline, and these include: A decline in food – Rabbits are the main prey of Iberian Lynxes and thanks to their steady decline, also thanks to human beings, with diseases such as Myxamatosis drastically decreasing wild rabbit populations. Equally important will be the mapping and marking of blackspots: in 2019, 34 lynxes died after being run over. They have short tails with black tips and are ordinarily a tawny colour with very dark spots. And where it could still flourish today - with a little help. As they are so severely under threat, Spanish governments have actually proposed seventy two separate protected sites to conserve the natural habitats of the animals. A decline in food – Rabbits are the main prey of Iberian Lynxes and thanks to their steady decline, also thanks to human beings, with diseases such as Myxamatosis drastically decreasing wild rabbit populations. This is primarily due to the loss of its prey, rabbits, which are heavily affected by viruses. According to the latest survey, the lynx population on the peninsula has increased ninefold over 18 years, rising from 94 in 2002 to 855 this year.