The Iberian Lynx
Genus: Lynx (Total members of this genus: Canada Lynx, Eurasian Lynx, Iberian Lynx, and Bobcat)
Species: Lynx Canadensis
Species: Lynx Canadensis
Species: Lynx pardinus
Iberian Lynx conservation status: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/12520/0
Background on the Lynx Genus
A Lynx is any of the four species within the Lynx genus of medium-sized wild cats, which includes the Canada Lynx, Eurasian Lynx, Iberian Lynx, and the Bobcat. The name “lynx” originated in Middle English via Latin from the Greek word λύγξ, which is derived from the Indo-European root leuk, meaning (“light, brightness”)- in reference to the luminescence of their reflective eyes.
The four Lynx species have the largest range across the world of any felid, and are found on both sides of the Atlantic. All Lynx or (Lynxes, you can say it either way) have a short tail, characteristic tufts of black hair on the tips of their ears, and large paws. Their paws may be larger than a human hand.
Body color varies from medium brown to gold to cream, and is often marked with dark brown spots, especially on the limbs. All species of Lynx have some white fur on their chests, bellies, and on the insides of their legs.
Lynx’s pupils contract to circles instead of slits in daylight. Generally the pupils of most small cats contract to vertical slits, while those of Tigers and most other big cats contract to a circle. There some exceptions, just to name a couple: the Snow Leopard’s eyes contract to a sort of oblong shape and the Pallas’s Cat’s eyes contract to circles even though it is a smaller cat.
People hunt and trap the Lynx species and this must be banned. Trapping of wild cats and other animals is cruel. They can die long painful deaths from dehydration, hypothermia, and blood loss often from attempting to chew their own limb off. Trapping is also disruptive to the ecosystem at large. https://thefurbearers.com/the-issues/trapping/cruelty-injuries
The Iberian Lynx is an endangered animal and thus any hunting or trapping is illegal. Their population numbers are recovering due to government and conservation groups’ actions.
The Iberian Lynx
The Iberian Lynx only lives in protected reserves in the south of Spain and isolated parts of Portugal. They weigh from 9-27 kg (20-60 lbs). The male is larger than the female. They are gorgeous creatures with large dark spots on their tawny coats and elegant black and white ruffs at their throats.
In the last few decades, the Iberian Lynx became endangered because it is a rabbit specialist and isn’t too flexible about eating anything else; when some rabbit diseases reduced the rabbit population, this was the precipitating factor in the Iberian lynx’s decline. Also, its numbers had fallen due to human encroachment on its scrubland territory, being hunted for its coat, and because ranchers said they bother their livestock. Thankfully, environmental activists and the Spanish government are working to save the species and they are getting great results. The Iberian Lynx’s population numbers are growing again.
Some farmers have complained the Iberian Lynx attacks their livestock but cat conservation authorities are closely monitoring the process and studies show that allowing adult cat predators to live near farms is actually much safer for livestock than relocating the cats or worse, killing them. Older adult cats learn to stay away from the farms in order to avoid conflicts with humans. If they are removed, the young inexperienced ones come into the abandoned territories to try their own luck at the farm and the cycle continues. Experienced animals learn to stay away from the area and do so. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0079713
Additionally, predation of farm animals is generally very low. Governments should compensate farmers/ranchers for any loss of livestock and continue to protect apex predators like the Iberian Lynx, who have a right to live there too and also provide a valuable service by keeping the ecosystem healthy and in balance. Iberian Lynx eat rabbit, whose populations are kept healthy and right sized due to the Iberian Lynx’s efforts.
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