Spanish lynx, Iberian lynx, pardel lynx
The Spanish lynx is considered to be the most endangered feline in the world. Hopes are that it will not become the first extinction of a wild cat species for at least 2,000 years.
Spanish lynxes live for up to 13 years.
Body length: 75-100cm, Tail length: 12-13cm, Shoulder height: 45-70cm, Weight: up to 18kg.
Spanish lynx have a brownish-grey to yellowish red coat, with sharply contrasting black spots and stripes, and a white underside. They have long tufts on their ears and very long whiskers. Spanish lynx are smaller than Eurasian lynx.
Spanish lynx formally occurred throughout the Iberian Peninsula but are now restricted to scattered mountainous areas and the Guadalquivir Delta.
They inhabit open forests and thickets.
Wild rabbits are their main prey, but they also hunt other small mammals and birds.
Lynx are shy and solitary, except for mothers with cubs. They mark their territories by urinating on trees and rocks. Male territories can overlap several female territories. Females usually have one mate per season, but males may have more than one.
Spanish lynx are active at night. They stay active in winter and their fur becomes thicker and paler. In extreme weather, they take shelter in caves or trees.
Lynx bury any uneaten prey and return the next day to finish it off.
Females give birth to a litter of 2-3 young after a gestation period of approximately 60 days.
The 2002 IUCN Red List of Threatened Specie lists the Spanish lynx as Critically Endangered, and they are on CITES: Appendix I. Populations declined dramatically in the 1950s and 1960s when myxomatosis hit the rabbit populations. Their decline has continued with the destruction of their habitat. Other threats include traps set for rabbits.