The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is considering the possibility of lowering the status of the Iberian lynx protection. Accordingly, nowadays this felid is a 'critically endangered' species: the world's most endangered feline in the world, and there is currently discussion for bringing it to the category of 'at risk' of extinction thanks to conservation efforts joined in Andalusia.
The acting counselor for the Environment in the regional government of Andalusia, Jose Juan Díaz Trillo, met Monday with the president of the feline specialist group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Switzerland's Urs Breitenmoser, to analyze progress in the conservation of the species that his department has achieved in the framework of the Life-Lince Program.
Life Lynx Program technicians have found this morning (April 18th) a lynx body with signs of having been run over. The dead lynx was lying at the 47.9 kilometer of the A-49, near to La Palma del Condado. The author of the accident alerted the Guardia Civil.
The Andalusian Regional Government has signed a collaboration agreement for the lynx conservation with the property of the property called 'Hueco bajo', a 327 hectares of forest land in La Carolina (Jaén).
The agreement, reached under the LIFE-Nature project 'Conservation and reintroduction of lynx in Andalusia', the Consejería de Medio Ambiente will develop several actions to improve the habitat for this species, and to increase the density of its primary prey, the rabbit. Its main activities include tasks for the adequacy of cover, such as pruning woody mass in fifteen acres of land and paid in ten.
The Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) is one notable example of a species at the brink of extinction. It is also the most emblematic endangered species in Spain, where it has become both a symbol and an enormous challenge for species conservation. Its current situation has prompted its designation as the most endangered felid species and its classification as "critically endangered" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The Iberian lynx is subject to an intense monitoring and active management program that includes an ex-situ conservation program, translocations of individuals and a reintroduction program, whose first releases were performed in late 2009.The scientific monitoring of these actions entails a complete medical or post-mortem analysis and the collection of samples for veterinary, physiological, and reproductive analysis for all animals eventually captured or found dead, which are studied by specialists in each area.
The decline in Iberian lynx numbers has had a dramatic effect on the genetic variation of the species. The analysis of contemporary nuclear microsatellite marker variation revealed levels of diversity that are extremely low compared to other species of cats, especially in the Doñana population, whose diversity is 33% lower than Andújar's, a strong genetic differentiation between the two populations, and bottleneck signals.
The Iberian lynx is healthy than other carnivores due to his diet, based on rabbit. They have lower organochlorine compounds (PCB) levels than other carnivores who eat reptiles. A study from scientist of the Estacion Biológica de Doñana demonstrate that reptile biomass in carnivore diets correlated positively with liver PCB levels.
The first three lynxes are born at the Captive Breeding Centre of Caceres of Zarza de Granadilla, in Cáceres. The birth came up at 3:00 o'clock in the morning of march 24. Farfara, a three year old female born in captivity in La Olivila Centre (Jaén), feels fine, quiet and she is taking care of her cubs.
The Iberian lynx is the most emblematic endangered species in Spain and a symbol and a enormous challenge for conservation. A seteep decline had relegated them to two isolated populations in Doñana and Andújar, both in Andalusia's region, with around 60 and 200 individuals, respectively.
It is suspected that genetic factors might be behind recently observed decreases in survival and reproduction in this populations. Genomic researches will be helpful to improve the conservation programmes, in the Captive Breeding Centres and in the ex situ one, finding the specimens with genetic problems.