A Lifeline for the Iberian Lynx

Friday, January 21, 2011

1.Only about 225 Iberian lynx remain in Spain and Portugal—an improvement over recent years but still too few for the species' survival.

2. Spring-footed Elanio, a year-old male in Spain’s Sierra de Andújar Natural Park, clears a "predator-proof" fence—just as wildlife managers intended. Designed to thwart other rabbit-eaters like fox and boar while letting cats up and over, the fence surrounds a feeding area seeded with prey.

3.Offering extra food is extreme but, right now, crucial: Lynx simply won’t breed if rabbits are scarce. And while one rabbit a day feeds a single lynx, a mother with cubs needs two or three.

4.His mother, Rappas, is still in charge for now, but Elanio will soon strike out and seek his own territory in the region’s forest, thicket, and scrub. A radio collar will enable staff of Lynx Life, a Spanish conservation group, to monitor him.

5.Lynx tend to be solitary after their first year and have been reported to stick to narrow ranges of about ten square miles—and to shun farmed or developed landscapes. But last year Lynx Life staff tracked a female on a nearly 200-mile foray. She successfully hunted on agricultural land—a hopeful sign of adaptability for this most critically endangered of cats.

Source from : http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com

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