Scientific Name: Lynx pardinus
The forever extinction of the Iberian Lynx is not an exaggeration. Despite decades of protection, millions of monies spent, hundreds of studies compiled, and the work of the best known Europe’s conservationists and zoologists, approximately 100 Iberian Lynx adults remain in the wild. The Iberian Lynx will be the world’s first feline extinction. (Discounting sub-species of tigers and lions – excluding the saber-toothed tiger some 10,000 years ago). The disappearance of the Iberian Lynx will forever leave a dark mark on conservation.
Status: CITES: Appendix I. IUCN: Endangered – Category 1 (critical)
Latin Name: Lynx pardinus
Common Name: Iberian Lynx, Spanish Lynx
Phylum: Chordata (Vertebrata)
Genus: Felinae (Lynx)
Size: Adult males weigh on the average 27.5 pounds
Adult females weigh on the average 20.0 pounds
Appearance: Half the size of the Eurasian Lynx and similar in appearance. Fur grayish, tints vary from yellowish to rusty, and spotted. Flared facial rug, long black ear tufts, long hind legs and short black tipped tail. Large spreading fur covered paws.
Habitat: Inhabits scrub vegetation, Mediterranean woodland and maquis thicket.
Distribution: The Iberian Peninsula
Reproduction and Offspring: Gestation approximately 60 days
Females produce a litter of 2-3 kittens. Offspring reach their independence at the age of 7-10 months. Sexual maturity is to be believed related to demographic and environmental factors; most females will not reproduce until they have secured a territory.
Hunting: Primarily nocturnal, except in winter months.
Diet: Main diet consists of rabbit, has been known to red deer, fallow deer, mouflon and ducks. Energy requirements found to be 1 rabbit per day.
Lifespan: Wild, approximately 13 years
Social System and Communication: Unknown, believed to be a solitary animal except for mothers and kittens.
Principal Threats: The largest threat is habitat destruction and the destruction of its prey. The hares suffered a major blow due to an introduced disease – poxvirus myxomatosis – to which the European Hare had no natural immunity and was nearly decimated. By the time they started building a resistance to this disease and the numbers started to recover, a new disease –viral hemorrhagic pneumonia - took its place and killed a large number of adult rabbits.
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