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Clawing Back From Extinction: The Struggle Of The Iberian Lynx

If I know one thing about my readers it’s that they have an abiding love of nature. Over the last year we’ve looked at all sorts of animals,.and in particular focused on animals that, for whatever reason, have found themselves on the edge of extinction. Some of these creatures have managed to recover but most are still very much at risk. Such is the case with the Iberian lynx who’s total worldwide population was only about 100 in 2002.

The lynx has come a long way since then but is still very endangered. Conservation efforts managed to raise the population to 326 by 2012. As of 2015 their numbers were estimated at 404 (over 4 times their population just 13 years ago). Conservation practices can work but it’s always an uphill battle.

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They prey almost exclusively on rabbit but anyone’s who’s been hungry knows sometimes youhave to make exceptions to your perfered diet.

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Originally they were native to the Iberian Peninsula and southern France but over time they’ve come to inhabit parts of the Mediterranean.

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Their populations are threatened by loss of habitat, loss of food, illegal hunting, and being hit by cars.

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In fact, in 2014 twenty-two were killed by cars. That represented about 15% of their total worldwide population.

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Kittens usually leave their mothers at about 20 months.

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Although cute, the kittens are known to fight with each other violently during their transition from milk to meat.

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And before you ask, no, you can’t have one as a pet. Well, not legally anyway.

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Captive breeding and habitat restoration have contributed to their upgrade from critically endangered to endangered status.

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Still, these cats have a long way to go. My high school had more students than they have current population.

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Of course captive breeding is less than ideal and often leads to unwanted complications.

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But at this point, what other options are left?

If you’d like to help the restoration of the Iberian Lynx I’d urge you to support the WWF in their endeavors. You can learn more about the lynx and even make a donation here.

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