Iberian Lynx Success Story

Spain toasts lynx recovery as species once on brink of extinction is set to number in the thousands for first time.

Two decades ago the Iberian lynx was on the brink of extinction, yet now it's poised to spring to a four-figure population milestone thanks to a successful and sophisticated rescue effort mounted by a coalition of conservation groups.


A key member of that coalition, Ramón Pérez de Ayala of WWF Spain, says that the stock of Iberian lynx is set to reach 1,000 in 2021 - a figure which may not mean this beautiful feline is entirely out of trouble, but which represents a remarkable turnaround after numbering less than 100 twenty years ago.


“We have done so much destroying of nature in Europe that we needed a clear success story for our credibility,” said Mr Pérez de Ayala. “I’m totally confident we will reach 1,000 in the next year. We know our methods work and that we can reach a favourable conservation status for the Iberian lynx - which is our obligation,” he told The Telegraph.


The aim is to multiply the number of reproductive females by four to around 750 by 2040, and remove the Iberian lynx from the endangered category on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of threatened species.

Mythical Feline Actually Exists: For centuries, its furry tail was the stuff of legend on the Mediterranean island of Corsica. Many generations of shepherds recounted sightings of an elusive metre-long, ring-tailed feline with razor-sharp teeth that would attack their ewes and goats at night. Now, scientists believe they have identified the animal as an entirely new species dubbed the “cat-fox”. More...