17 May, 2024 @ 12:10
1 min read

Lynx victory in Spain: Wild cat is almost free of risk of extinction after population surpasses 2,000

Iberian Lynx Wikimedia Commons

SPAIN and Portugal’s Iberian lynx population now stands at 2,000, a number that means the endangered species is gradually getting further away from the risk of extinction.

That’s according to the latest report from a working group covering the wild cat, and which is coordinated by Spain’s central Ministry for Environmental Transition. 

Population has been steadily rising since 2015, which is prompting optimism among experts that the extinction risk for the species could soon be drastically reduced. 

Around 20 years ago, there were fewer than 100 catalogued specimens, compared to more than 2,000 in 2023. 

Read more: Forty-three Iberian lynx cubs born in Spanish reintroduction program throughout 2022

Iberian Lynx Wikimedia Commons
There are now more than 2,000 catalogued lynx specimens in Spain and Portugal.

And it is in recent years that the numbers have grown fastest, with 1,111 lynxes detected in 2020, and 900 new specimens added to the Iberian population in just the subsequent three years, according to news agency Europa Press. 

According to figures contained in the report, a total of 2,021 lynxes have been catalogued. Of these, 1,730 find their habitat in Spain, some 86% of the total, while the remaining 291 live in Portugal. 

Broken down by region, Andalucia has the most specimens, with 755, while in Castilla-La Mancha there are 715. 

The lynx is also migrating into new territories in Spain, having now been identified in provinces such as Badajoz and Toledo. 

The report also found that the number of reproductive females has risen, going up to 406 in 2023, which is 80 more than were detected in 2022. 

Experts say that 750 reproductive females is the target to reach for the lynx to safely be in a favourable conservation status. 

The ministry puts the positive figures down to coordinated conservation efforts between different public bodies, as well as efforts from private landowners and the general public. 

Financial support from both Spain and Portugal, as well as the European Union, have also allowed for a significant increase in the research and monitoring efforts carried out via a program dubbed Life.

Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Story

‘This is fascism!’: British expat fury after anti-tourism activists in Spain demand a ‘list of foreign residents’ who are ‘alien’ to local culture

Image of the South facade of the Gran Hotel Miramar in Malaga. Credit. Wikimedia Commons
Next Story

Revealed: Major tourist city in southern Spain has seen the biggest surge in hotel prices this year

Latest from Lead

Go toTop

More From The Olive Press