Spanish Lynx

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Spanish Lynx
Conservation status: Critical
Missing image
Iberian-lynx.jpg



Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Carnivora
Family:Felidae
Genus:Lynx
Species:L. pardinus
Binomial name
Lynx pardinus
(Temminck, 1827)

The Spanish Lynx (Lynx pardinus, sometimes Felis pardina) or Iberian Lynx is sometimes classified as a subspecies of the Eurasian Lynx, but most authorities regard it as a separate species. While the Eurasian Lynx bears rather pallid markings, the Spanish Lynx has distinctive, leopard-like spots. It is furthermore smaller than its northern relative and hence hardly able to hunt animals larger than hares, and rabbits are its main prey. However, when hungry, the Spanish Lynx may attack young deer or mouflons.

This lynx was once distributed over all of Spain and Portugal. It is now largely restricted to mountainous areas, because it is extinct in the lowlands. Spanish Lynxes prefer open grassland with few trees. They hunt at night, and in the daytime they hide under the shrubs.

The Spanish Lynx is critically endangered and the world's most threatened species of cat. Estimates of March 2005 have put the figure in as few as 100, down from a thousand a decade ago, scattered in tiny reservations. A very few may remain in Portugal, but in fact the only breeding populations left are in Spain, located in the Coto Doana National Park and in the Sierra de Andjar, Jan. Lynxes and their habitats are fully protected and not hunted anymore, but they are critically endangered, mainly due to road casualties, illegal hunting and the decimation of hares and rabbits, its almost exclusive prey, by the disease myxomatosis.

However, there is still hope of survival after the birth of three cubs in captivity for the very first time, announced in March 29, 2005. Efforts to preserve the lynx's habitat have also to receive a boost from a football entrepreneur and businessman Corrado Correggi, who named his team, Algarve United, after the lynxes and who has promised to donate 10% of the gate receipts and 10% of membership fees to lynx conservation.


External links

  • The Iberian Lynx (http://www.iberianature.com/material/iberianlynx.htm)The natural history of the Iberian lynx
  • [1] (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4336071.stm)A BBC report on the population decline
  • [2] (http://www.greenconsumerguide.com/index.php?news=2480)A more critical view
  • [3] (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4394005.stm)About the birth of the cubs in captivity
  • [4] (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/4579015.stm) A BBC report of a football team sponsoring lynx conservation.ast:Llobu cerval

bg:Иберийски рис da:Spansk los de:Pardelluchs fr:Lynx d'Espagne it:Lynx pardinus nl:Pardellynx

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