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Only 400 Iberian Lynx Left, Now What?
Posted By G Living Staff Monkies On March 8, 2010 @ 6:00 am In Nature / Non Human Stories | No Comments
There are now between 150 to 250 Iberian Lynx in the world.
Haven’t heard of the Iberian Lynx? That’s because it’s a rare cat native to Spain and Portugal. The population is down from about 400 in the year 2000, but they could be on the climb again. Even better news for conservationists trying to save the lynx is that a new population found in central Spain is genetically distinct from the others, meaning inbreeding can be limited to the surviving population.
Fortunately, The Iberian Lynx are no longer legally hunted and caution has been taken to protect their habitat. But like a lot of other animals, they had become endangered due to habitat degradation or by being hit by cars near their stomping grounds. Another large reason is because their main source of prey — the rabbit — has been decimated in Spain due to disease.
At first glance, the Iberian lynx looks like a Bobcat. While they have a short bobtail, they can be distinguished from the Bobcat because their tails are black all the way around, while the Bobcat is black on the tip and white on the bottom.
The Iberian Lynx have a tuft of black hair on top their pointed ears and sideburns, which help it to detect sources of sound. The edges of its feet are covered in long thick hair, which acts like snow shoes and helps them move silently to stalk their prey. Their coat is a light gray with some brownish-yellow and is marked with distinct leopard-like spots.
These beautiful creatures are known to roam widely, with ranges reaching more than 100 km, and are now believed to be returning to their natural habitats. A captive breeding program near the Coto Donana wetlands, known to be a center for conservationism, should help the population rise again and hopefully news of cubs will be reported soon.
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