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About the Iberian Lynx

Context:

Recently, the Spanish government said the number of endangered Iberian lynx in the wild in Spain and Portugal has nearly doubled since 2020.

Relevance:

GS III: Species in News

About the Iberian Lynx:

Endemic Carnivore:

  • The Iberian lynx is one of two carnivore species native to Europe, alongside the European mink (Mustela lutreola).

Endangered Status:

  • It holds the title of being the world’s most endangered feline species, recognized for its distinctive pointy ears, long legs, and leopard-like spotted fur.

Sexual Dimorphism:

  • Like many other cat species, the Iberian lynx displays sexual dimorphism, with males typically being heavier and longer than females.

Nocturnal Behavior:

  • Generally nocturnal, the lynx’s activity patterns are synchronized with those of its primary prey, the rabbit.
  • Habitat Requirements:
  • Thriving in variable terrain below 1300 meters, the lynx prefers habitats featuring a mix of closed Mediterranean scrubland with interspersed open patches of grassland, often bordered by marsh ecotones.

Distribution:

  • Although once widespread across the Iberian Peninsula, the species is now sparsely distributed in Spain and Portugal.

Threats:

  • Human activities pose significant threats to the Iberian lynx, including poaching, habitat destruction, illegal hunting, and a declining food base due to factors such as rabbit population declines.

Conservation Status:

  • As per the IUCN Red List, the Iberian lynx is classified as Endangered, while it is listed under Appendix II of CITES, highlighting the urgent need for conservation efforts to protect this vulnerable species.

-Source: The Hindu


June 2024
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