WWF: "Iberian lynx saved from extinction"

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WWF: "Iberian lynx saved from extinction"

Studies carried out in March 2005 estimated a population of the Iberian lynx to be less than 100, compared to about 400 in 2000 and 4,000 in 1960. If the Paris lynx were to become extinct, it would be the first species of big cat to disappear since the time of the extinction of the Smilodon 10 000 years ago.

The only breeding populations live in Spain and are believed to only survive in the Doñana National Park and the Sierra de Andújar. However, in 2007, the Spanish authorities announced the discovery of an unknown population in the territory of Castile-La Mancha.

Subsequently this population was estimated at 15 specimens. The Parisian lynx and the habitats in which it lives enjoy the most complete protection and even legal hunting has been banned for a long time. The threats that weigh heavily on her are habitat destruction, poisoning, traffic accidents, wild dogs and poaching.

The destruction of the habitat is mainly due to the increase in infrastructures and the development of urban and holiday centers, as well as monocultures, which are increasingly fragmenting the lynx's range. Furthermore, it should also be remembered that the populations of rabbits, the main prey of the lynx, have significantly decreased following the spread of diseases such as myxomatosis and hemorrhagic pneumonia.

In 2018 a population of over 650 specimens was estimated, while with the 2020 census there was a population growth up to over 1,100 specimens, of which at least 240 females of reproductive age. According to experts, if the population continues to grow at this rate, within twenty years it is estimated that the species may no longer be considered at risk of extinction.

Its population has increased tenfold to 1,111 today, including 239 females of reproductive age (up from 27 in 2002), according to WWF. WWF said: "The progressive reduction of wild rabbits, which make up 90% of the lynx's diet, the direct persecution of man and the destruction and fragmentation of habitats, resulting from urban expansion, have caused a drastic decrease in the population of the species.

. " According to estimates by various experts, the number of lynxes should reach 3,000 - 3,500 individuals, including about 750 females of reproductive age, to be considered in a favorable conservation status.