Iberian Lynx

Lynx Pardinus
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The Iberian Lynx attacking a bird.

Description:

The Iberian lynx has a short, yellowish-red and brown colored coat with leopard-like spots, and a short tail. It has tufts of fur on its ears, and a beard-like mane on its face. It usually weighs 20-30 pounds, and is about 65-100 centimeters long. This cat is the world's most endangered cat, and may be the first cat to go extinct since the saber-tooth tiger.
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This Iberian lynx is probably stalking its prey.
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The Iberian lynx range map.

The Iberian lynx is mainly located on the Iberian peninsula, in Spain. There are two main populations: one in Doñana, and another in Andújar-Cardeña. This species live in a woodland and shrubland habitat where they can hunt their main prey: rabbits. Other sources of food are: rodents, hares, partridges, ducks geese, and deer.

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Two Iberian lynx kittens.
The Iberian Lynx usually have territories up to 20 km2, which they are very territorial of. Mating season begins in January and ends in February, with birth occurring two months later. The litter has one to four kittens, which the mother cares for in lairs all around her territory. Lairs are usually located in a hollow tree, or under a thicket. Kittens stay with their mother until they are 20 months old.

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Iberian lynx cub with its mother.

The Iberian lynx is a nocturnal species, and a very avid tree climber. They have a life expectancy of about thirteen years. They are closely related to the Eurasian lynx, the Canadian lynx, and the North American bobcat.
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The lynx with its prey: the rabbit.
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Sign in Spain saying 'remember,' or basically to watch out for the lynx.
The Iberian lynx has less than 150 left in the wild. The main cause of their disappearing is habitat loss, loss of food source, illegal hunting, traps, and road fatalities. Since they are specialized into having one main food source (rabbits), the decreasing population of rabbits from loss of habit and a disease called myxomatosis, hit the lynxes extra hard. Today, many restrictions and conservation acts have been set up to try and re-stable this almost extinct species. It is protected under the law in Spain and Portugal, is in both of their Critically Endangered Species lists, is in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Appendix 1, listed in the World Union for Nature, and in the World Wildlife Foundation. Also, a captive breeding program has been started. Through public awareness and education programs, the government is trying to get the support of the people to help with conservation.
ARKive video - Iberian lynx cubs climbing in a tree

Bibliography:


"Iberian Lynx." The Animal Files.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Mar 2011. <http://www.theanimalfiles.com/mammals/carnivores/lynx_iberian.html>.

"Iberian Lynx: A Great Cat in a Shrinking Space."WWF. World Wildlife fund, n.d. Web. 13 Mar 2011.
<http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/finder/iberianlynx/iberianlynx.html>.

"Iberian lynx (lynx pardinus)." ARKive: Images of Life on Earth. Environment Agency, 14 Jan 2011. Web. 13 Mar 2011.
<http://www.arkive.org/iberian-lynx/lynx-pardinus/#text=References>.

Lloyd, Nick. "The Iberian Lynx." IberiaNature: A Guide to the natural history of Spain. N.p., 2010. Web. 13 Mar 2011.
<http://www.iberianature.com/material/iberianlynx.htm>.

"Lynx Pardinus." The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, Apr 2010.
Web. 13 Mar 2011. <http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/12520/0>.