A captive engender curriculum that has tripled number of lynx in Spain over the last 15 years may now be followed by the reintroduction of the lynx to the UK after a lack of more than 1,000 years. While the reappearance of a major predator obsess farmers, the tufty-eared feline is supporting a major hit with others in both Spain and Germany, writes Fergal MacErlean.
In 2002, events were appearing bad for the Iberian lynx. Once widespread in Portugal, Spain and south France there used to be fewer than 100 adults left – all in southern Spain – and exclusively 25 spawning females.
Cork oak woods, the lynx’s favourite habitat, had been being felled or thinned for more than a century, and the move to screw-top wine bottles was threatening even what abode. At the same hour the rabbit person, the lynx’s main nutrient, had been ruined by disease.
It was at this notes that urgent steps were taken to capture young swine and start a engender programme.
The first animals born in confinement were released after 2010. In 2014 and 2015, 124 swine were secreted. By the end of last year there were 400 lynx on the Iberian headland, the vast majority in Andalusia, in southern Spain, but with smaller new people in the hills near Toledo, in Extremadura( south-western Spain) and in south Portugal.
Just rarely the breeders have been surprised by one of the following options reintroduced lynx. Most scent-mark a domain of 20 sq km and stay put to defend it – though the territory of males and females may overlap – but four of the exhausted swine have gone wandering.
Two brothers, Kahn( drawn at the opening of the page) and Kentaro( portrait at the bottom of the page ), have been followed thanks to the GPS transmitters they wear, with Kahn foreman northern and west, Kentaro south and west. Contact with Kentaro, who is now living on roe deer rather than rabbits, is about to be lost, as the battery in his transmitter is running out.
Efforts to captivate him over the last month, in order to oust the artillery, have proved fruitless.
“He is not penetrating the nets. Whenever he discovers anything strange he goes the other room, ” does Ramon Perez de Ayala, head of the WWF-backed LIFE-Iberlince recovery programme.
“Some animals just like advancing. Males specially need to move so populations don’t have genetic raise problems.”
The Iberian lynx contradicts in some respects from the Eurasian lynx, the species that occupies other regions of Europe. It’s smaller, with shorter fur and darker recognizes. While the Iberian lynx dines mainly rabbit, the Eurasian lynx eats primarily deer – it’s the third piranha in Europe after the dark-brown bring and the wolf. One plays with foxes for food – the other ingests fox.
But the success of the Iberian lynx curriculum provisions encouragement to those be expected to reintroduce the Eurasian lynx to Britain.
Know your lynx
Eurasian lynx – 18 kg to 40 kg in load, 80 -1 30 cm long, up to 70 cm high-pitched at the shoulder Iberian lynx – 5-15kg in load, 65 -1 00 cm long, 40 -5 0cm high-flown at the shoulder The small-scale clumps of black “hairs-breadth” on each ear improve their hearing Both species have a short black-tipped tush – as do their relatives, the Canada lynx and bobcat( though the bobcat’s tail end is partially grey) Most European lynx are found in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe – the population has been estimated at 9,000 to 10, 000( eliminating Russia and Belarus) The largest population in Western european countries is found in the Alps – about 130 lynx inhabit Austria, France, Italy, Slovenia and Switzerland Image caption Image caption