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New lynx population discovered in Spain


Madrid, Spain – Spanish authorities have announced the discovery of a previously unknown population of Iberian lynx, triggering hope for the world’s most endangered cat species, said WWF.

It appears that the new population was discovered in previously unsurveyed estates in the Castilla-La Mancha region in central Spain.

At present, the exact numbers and location of the newly discovered population are being kept confidential, but the population is thought to be made up of both adults and cubs.

Until the exact location is known, conservationists cannot confirm if this population is genetically distinct from the larger and more stable population of lynx found in Andujar in the south.

“We are excited and amazed by this discovery,” said Luis Suarez, Head of Species at WWF-Spain. “However, we are a long way from saving the Iberian lynx from imminent extinction.”

According to the most recent comprehensive survey prior to this discovery, there were about 100 adult Iberian lynx in two isolated breeding populations in southern Spain. The population is thought to have since risen to some 110 adults.

The Iberian Lynx faces myriad threats — a lack of prey, accidental deaths from cars and trucks on Spanish roads, and new construction work destroying habitats.

WWF is calling for all Lynx habitat to be covered by the EU’s Natura 2000 Programme, which offers the strongest level of protection in Europe, something that still hasn’t happened despite years of petition.

“We hope this discovery reinvigorates action in Spain to save the world’s most endangered cat species, Suarez added.

"If Europe cannot take responsibility for Europe’s ‘tiger’, then shame on us all.”


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