Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardinus)
The Iberian Lynx cat is one of the four Lynxes in the Lynx family of cats. The other close relatives of this cat are the Eurasian Lynx, Canada Lynx and the Bobcat. The Eurasian and Iberian Lynxes are found in Eurasia and the Canada Lynx and Bobcat in North America.
The Iberian Lynx only occurs in a small range across Spain and Portugal where it is also called the Spanish Lynx. The cat was listed as Critically Endangered and had declined to less than 100 individuals by the early 2000's. Due to an intensive breeding and re-introduction program by a huge collaborative effort by many European partners, the population recovered to over 150 individuals by 2012, and the status was later downlisted to Endangered. Now, in 2023, the population is over 1000, and conservation efforts are ongoing to ensure the population does not fall into decline again.
Iberian Lynx Audio
Listen to a short audio taken from the Iberian Lynx chapter from The Wild Cat Book by Fiona and Mel Sunquist.
This excerpt covers the evolution of the Iberian Lynx and the factors that led to its dramatic decline.
Iberian Lynx Podcast
This excellent podcast covers the story of the remarkable recovery of the Iberian Lynx (40mins).
The Comeback Cat: Spain’s Iberian lynx by Chris Morgan and Matt Martin
HOST, "THE WILD"
Chris Morgan has worked as a wildlife researcher, wilderness guide, and environmental educator worldwide for more than 20 years.
153 Observations of Iberian Lynx on iNaturalist
There are currently 153 images of Iberian Lynx on iNaturalist and many are just signs of the animal (such as scats and tracks), so it is rare to glimpse this cat in the wild AND get a photograph.
iNaturalist is a global platform for the public to upload images of wild creatures they have seen in nature. If you have any photos of natural biodiversity from your travels be sure to open an account and upload your images. Identification is verified by other members and the data can be used in future research. A great way to contribute to conservation and research!
Note there are images of dead animals in case you are a sensitive viewer.
Wild Cat Tours to see Iberian Lynxes
A great place to get tips and read trip reports from people that have been on various tours to see wild cats is MammalWatching.com.
If you know of anyone that may be interested in studying wild cats, please forward this post to them.
There is a dire need for research on the smaller cats such as the Iberian Lynx.
I would love to encourage as many budding zoologists as possible to specialize in these wonderful creatures!