These beautiful, and sometimes quite comical-looking, creatures may well be on the verge of extinction – a sad indictment of the world we live in. Their other claim to fame is that they are a single prey species.
Also known as the Spanish lynx or Pardel lynx, their most distinguishing feature is their ‘beard’, which I think can make them look quite scary. They have tufted ears and large wide feet thickly covered with fur, long legs and a short tail.
They are nocturnal during the summer months, but in winter they can be seen hunting throughout the day.
Litters are born between March and April with usually three kits to a litter, but unfortunately a high mortality rate exists and few reach maturity.
Woodland and open scrubland
The Iberian Peninsula
What they eat
Rabbit (they are a single prey species), but they will supplement the rabbit with small game birds, ducks and young deer, if needs must.
Loss of habitat due to land conversion, decline in rabbit numbers, illegal hunting and accidental death (traps set for smaller animals, poisoning and road accidents)
Status: Critically Endangered
The Iberian lynx (lynx pardinus) is the world’s most endangered wild cat species. In 2008, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) stated that “Current numbers are not sufficient for the survival of the species in the long term”, showing the Iberian Lynx to be on the verge of extinction. Should this become a reality, it will be the first wild cat to achieve this status for almost 2,000 years. What a very sad thought!
“If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to the man. All things are connected”