Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardinus) - Wiki
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[Photo] Female Iberian Lynx. ICONA, http://es.geocities.com/linxpardinus/lin7.jpg Gobierno Espa??ol, Servicio de Protecci??n de la Naturaleza.
(Lynx pardinus, sometimes Felis pardina.In spanish: El Lince )
The Iberian Lynx is- sometimes referred to as the Spanish Lynx - used to be often mis-classified as a subspecies of the Eurasian Lynx, but it is now regarded as a separate species. Both of they evolved together in Pleistocene in central Europe. In Spain there is name's confusion enough. Many people refer to lynx: "Gato Montes", that is the Wild Cat's name, confusing besides Wild Cat (Felis silvestris silvestris, Felis silvestris tartessia, Felis silvestris jordansi) with domestic Cat (Felis silvestris catus). The Iberian linx is believed to be evolved from Lynx issiodorensis.
Iberian Linx face is more cat-like than others linxs. While the Eurasian Lynx bears rather pallid markings, the beautiful Iberian Lynx has distinctive, leopard-like spots. But some west populations are spotless and not pallid coat, their coat is most often light gray or various shades of light red-brown, yellowish-brown in color. Have a short stubby bob tail, whose end is always black, a tuft of black hair on the tip of the pointed ears, whiskers and Sideburns. Male is larger than female. The shoulder height is about 2 foot (70 cm). Lenght of 3ft (1m), included a 6-in (15cm) tail. Tom 12.8 kg (sometimes 20 kg), Queen 9.3 kg. Iberian Linx not differ greatly from European Lynx but resemble more to Rufus Lynx.
The Iberian Lynx is smaller than its northern relatives, and so does usually hunt small and media size animals not larger than hares, maybe avoiding competition with wolves and lions in the past. Chase mammals (including rodents and insectivores), birds, reptiles and amphibians, at twilight. Rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) are its main prey (%79.5-86.7), being (%5.9) Hares (Lepus granatensis) and (%3.2) rodents few ocurring. Tom lynx need a rabbit per day and a queen bringing up cubs need three rabbits per day. However, as the population of rabbits in Spain has declined, the Iberian Lynx is often forced to attack young deer or mouflons. The Iberian lynx competing red fox, "meloncillo" (Herpestes ichneumon) and Wild Cat. This feline is solitary and hunts alone. Lynx will stalk their prey or lie in wait for hours behind a bush or rock, until the prey is sufficiently close to pounce in a few lightning strides. He have a territory, marked by its urine, droppings and scratch marks on the barks of trees. The sight lynx can distinguish a mouse at 250 ft (75m), a rabbit at 980 ft (300m) and a roebuck at 1,650 ft (500). The tufts of hair on its ears help him to detect sources of sound; without them its hearing capacity is greatly reduced. The edges of its feet are covered in long thick hair, which facilitates silent and movement throught snow. Linx, mostly youngers, are hightly roaming, running more than 100 kms (radio collar controlled), being a main factor in current mortality. Also they have a territory (~ 10-20 Km²), depending in richness food.
During the mating season the female leaves her territory in search of a male. Pregnant is 65 to 75 days. The female is left to raise the young alone. Born month : march-april. Weight born: 200-250 g. Between one and four puppys are born. The survival of the young depends heavily on the availability of prey species. In the wild the Tom reaches sexual maturity at about two and half to three years, and queen by two years. In captivity, sexual maturity is achieved at an earlier age.
This lynx was once distributed over the entire Iberian Peninsula. It is now restricted to very small areas, with breeding only confirmed in two areas of Andalucia, southern Spain. Iberian Lynx prefer heterogeneous environments of open grassland mixed with dense shrubs as arbutus, lentisk, and juniper; and trees as home oak and cork tree. Mainly in mountainous areas covered with vegetation; maquis or " Mediterranean forest " .
The Iberian Lynx is critically endangered, 1990 IUCN red list of threadtened animals. Feasiblely extint in 2011. Iberian lynx is the world's most threatened species of cat, and the most threatened species of carnivorous in Europe. Studies conducted in March 2005 have estimated the number of surviving lynx to be as few as 100, which is down from about 1,000 a decade ago. If it dies out now, it would be the first big cat to do so since the extinction of the Sabre-toothed tiger. And European lion, (status as subspecies is unconfirmed). Those lynx that remain are scattered in tiny reservations. There have been no sightings in Portugal since 2001 (approx) and the official Portuguese count is zero. The only breeding populations are in Spain, living in the Coto Do??ana National Park and in the Sierra de And??jar, Ja??n. Lynx and their habitat are fully protected and are no longer legally hunted, but this is insufficient. Their critical status is mainly due to habitat loss, poising, road casualties, feral dogs and poaching. The great habitat loss, is mainly due to infraestructures, urban & resort development, tree monocultive (pine, pseudotsuga, eucalyptus)... breaking his distribution area. In addition, its prey population of rabbits is declining due to diseases like myxomatosis and haemorrhagic pneumonia. The all and sundry spanish ( national or autonomous) and portuguese governs are indifferent, and they waste the time. However, there is still hope of survival for the Iberian Lynx. On March 29, , the birth of three cubs, the first born in captivity, was announced. Four more cubs have been born in 2006. These recent births seem to open up the prospect of a future reintroduction of the species to parts of its former habitat where it has disappeared. Before any cats are released to the wild, conservation efforts will have to be increased in order to ensure survival of the species.
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