Iberian lynx becoming a conservation success story as population reaches “historic milestone”

Thanks to aggressive conservation efforts, the Iberian lynx population has now reached 2,021, which brings the species halfway to full recovery, according to wildlife officials.

Under the latest census, the World Conservations Union’s Red List of Threatened Species has lowered the Iberian lynx in its ranking from “endangered” to “vulnerable,” according to WWF-Spain.

(The list has not been updated online.)

“The recovery of the species is mainly due to the joint work of 21 organizations, including WWF, which have supported the Iberian lynx through initiatives on the ground and a powerful captive breeding program since 2002,” WWF Spain said in a statement June 20.

In one year, the population of the species has grown 21 per cent, noted WWF-Canada, calling the recovery at a “historic milestone.”

Iberian lynx. Photo: WWF-Canada/Facebook

“Reaching 3000-3500 specimens would allow us to definitively consider the lynx the species out of danger,” WWF-Spain said.

Iberian lynx is a conservation success story. Photo: WWF-Canada/Facebook

In the 1990s, the species counted perhaps 100 animals in the entire Iberian Peninsula. 

The animal still faces the threats of becoming road kill, illegally hunted and has experienced a 70 per cent decline in the region’s wild rabbit population, which make up its primary food source.

“In addition to the work on the ground both in the recovery of the species and in raising awareness of the local population that lives with it, we work in the courts and have appeared as a private prosecutor in two cases of lynxes shot in Menasalbas and in Lorca,” WWF-Spain added.

The Iberian lynx is still under threat from hunting and becoming road kill. Photo: WWF-Spain/Facebook

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Recovering newspaper reporter.

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