Saturday, March 24, 2007

Spain: Lynx baby boom gives hope to save species

23 March 2007

DONANA – There is a baby boom among the world’s most threatened feline, the Iberian lynx.

Five cubs have been born in captivity in the past two days.

On Friday, two cubs were born to the lynx Saliega at the breeding centre in the Doñana park in Andalucía.

The day before, another lynx, Aura, gave birth to three cubs at the same centre.

This brings a badly-needed boost to lynx numbers.

Six have been born in captivity this year and 44 in the wild.

There are thought to be only 100 lynx left, after persistent  threats to their natural habitats, a reduction in the numbers of wild rabbits which is the animal’s preferred food and the constant danger of getting run over by passing traffic.

But various programmes, including feeding wild lynx a dietary substitute in the form of domestic rabbits, and experimenting with domestic cats to test lynx fertility, have given scientists hope they can stop the animal becoming extinct subchannel_id=81&story_id=38021

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