THE birth of two Iberian lynx cubs in Badajoz is being hailed as a ‘breakthrough’ moment in the bid to save the world’s most endangered feline.
The births are thought to be the first to take place in the wild outside Andalucia in decades.
An EU-financed project was launched across the region 12 years ago after the number of wild Iberian lynx plummeted to under 100.
That number has at least tripled since then and the latest births suggest the big cats are now re-establishing themselves across a wider area.
“Females tend to have up to three in a litter,” said a Iberlince spokesman. “To see the cats expanding across Spain is a great breakthrough for the project.”
However, their existing numbers are still not enough for the long-term survival of the species – they are still in danger of becoming the first feline mammal to die out in more than 2,000 years.
Indigenous to Spain and Portugal, numbers of Iberian lynx dwindled in the early 21st century as a result of rising temperatures and declining rabbit populations.