Sunday, May 20, 2007

Iberian lynx to be introduced into Spanish parks


A pair of animals will be freed from the Sierra Morena to repopulate the Doñana park

The head of the nature management department at the Junta, José Guirado, has confirmed that the population of the endangered Iberian lynx species at the Doñana park in Huelva will be increased this autumn with the help of a pair of lynx from the Sierra Morena park. The wildcat will also be reintroduced into the Despeñaperros park (Jaén), and the Hornachuelos park in Cordoba from 2009.

Guirado, who is responsible for conservation and reproduction in captivity projects, revealed that some 184 Iberian lynx were born in 2006, of which 140 were in the Sierra Morena. According to Guirado, the lynx population in the Sierra Morena has undergone a "clear recuperation" in recent years with a 60 per cent increase in the number of territorial females and more than one hundred per cent in the number of cubs.

The repopulation project consists of letting the pair of lynx from Sierra Morena free in a six hectare enclosure in the Doñana park where rabbits - the main food of the animal - will also be introduced. Once the animals get accustomed to their new surroundings, and the first cubs have been born, the coop will be opened to enable the animals to colonise that particular area of the park.

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