IBERIAN LYNX (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     21st June 2024        
output themes

Context: Recently, the IUCN upgraded the conservation status of the Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardinus) from 'Endangered' to 'Vulnerable', marking a remarkable success story in conservation efforts.

Iberian Lynx

  • About: It is one of two carnivore species native to Europe, alongside the European mink (Mustela lutreola).
  • Scientific name: Lynx pardinus
  • Physical Characteristics: Known for its pointed ears, long legs, and leopard-like spotted fur, the Iberian lynx holds the title of the world's most endangered cat species.

oSimilar to other cat species, the Iberian lynx exhibits sexual dimorphism, with males typically being heavier and longer than females.

  • Behavior: The Iberian lynx is primarily nocturnal, and its activity patterns closely align with those of its primary prey, the rabbit.
  • Habitat: This species thrives in varied terrain below 1300 meters, characterized by a mix of closed Mediterranean scrubland and open grassland patches, often near marshy areas.
  • Distribution: Once widespread across the Iberian Peninsula, the Iberian lynx now faces sparse distribution, primarily limited to regions in Spain and Portugal.

oThe population of the lynx, found in Spain and Portugal, has increased exponentially from 62 mature individuals in 2001 to 648 in 2022. “Today, the total population, including young and mature lynx, is estimated to be more than 2,000,”

  • Threats: The survival of the Iberian lynx is threatened by human activities such as poaching, habitat destruction, illegal hunting, and the depletion of its food sources.
  • Conservation status:

oIUCN Red list: Endangered

oCITES: Appendix II

output themes