Hope for rare Iberian lynx after new population sighting in Central Spain

November 14th, 2007 - 2:46 am ICT by admin  
“We are excited and amazed by this discovery,” said Luis Suarez, head of WF’s Species Program in Spain.

“However, we are a long way from saving the Iberian lynx from imminent extinction,” Suarez said.

According to a WWF report, the new population was discovered in the previously un-surveyed estates in Castilla - La Mancha (Central Spain).

This Iberian community is one of the most sparsely populated of Spain’s autonomous communities.

However, experts say, until the exact location of the species is known, it cannot e confirmed if it is genetically distinct from the larger and more stable population f lynx found in Andujar (South).

Scientists further say while the exact numbers and location of the newly iscovered population is still under wraps, the population comprises of both dults and cubs.

Prior to this discovery, there were about 100 adult Iberian lynx in two isolated reeding populations in southern Spain. The population is thought to have since isen to some 110 adults.

The Iberian Lynx faces myriad threats - a lack of prey, accidental deaths from ars and trucks on roads across Spain, and new construction work destroying abitats.

The WWF is calling for all lynx habitat to be covered by the EU’s Natura 2000 rogram, which offers the strongest level of protection in Europe, something that till hasn’t happened despite years of petition.

“We hope this discovery reinvigorates action in Spain to save the world’s most ndangered cat species. If Europe cannot take responsibility for Europe’s ‘tiger’, hen shame on us all,” Suarez added. (ANI)

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