Spanish lynx, Pardel Lynx
The Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) is the rarest of the lynx species. It is the most threatened cat species, currently on the verge of extinction. By the turn of the 21st century, the Iberian lynx was on the verge of extinction but due to conservation measures by 2012, its population had increased. Despite that, the Iberian lynx is now listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
Nocturnality is an animal behavior characterized by being active during the night and sleeping during the day. The common adjective is "nocturnal",...
Crepuscular animals are those that are active primarily during twilight (that is, the periods of dawn and dusk). This is distinguished from diurnal...
A carnivore meaning 'meat eater' is an organism that derives its energy and nutrient requirements from a diet consisting mainly or exclusively of a...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
A cursorial organism is one that is adapted specifically to run. An animal can be considered cursorial if it has the ability to run fast (e.g. chee...
A territory is a sociographical area that which an animal consistently defends against the conspecific competition (or, occasionally, against anima...
Among animals, viviparity is the development of the embryo inside the body of the parent. The term 'viviparity' and its adjective form 'viviparous'...
Predators are animals that kill and eat other organisms, their prey. Predators may actively search for or pursue prey or wait for it, often conceal...
Altricial animals are those species whose newly hatched or born young are relatively immobile. They lack hair or down, are not able to obtain food ...
Polygyny is a mating system in which one male lives and mates with multiple females but each female only mates with a single male.
Monogamy is a form of relationship in which both the male and the female has only one partner. This pair may cohabitate in an area or territory for...
A dominance hierarchy (formerly and colloquially called a pecking order) is a type of social hierarchy that arises when members of animal social gr...
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
The Iberian lynx is of medium size and is smaller than the similar Eurasian lynx, which also has a characteristically bobbed tail, a spotted coat, long legs, and a muscular body. Its relatively short, coarse coat is tawny to bright yellowish-red, with black or brown spots and white underparts. Males are larger than females, both having prominent whiskers, a characteristic "beard" encircling their face, and distinctive black ear tufts.
Iberian lynxes used to be widespread throughout the south of France and the Iberian Peninsula. Today they reside in Andujár-Cardeña and Doñana National Park in the Spanish autonomic region of Andalusia. Their preferred habitats are Mediterranean woodlands and Maquis shrublands, where there is a mix of open pasture and dense scrub. Iberian lynxes also prefer prefers open grassland mixed with dense shrubs such as a strawberry tree, mastic, and juniper, and trees such as holm oak and cork oak. The animals are now largely restricted to mountainous areas.
Iberian lynxes are solitary and nocturnal, with most activity around sunset, the time when prey is the most active. Daily patterns of activity are linked to the European rabbit, their primary prey. During winter, these lynxes may become diurnal for a period of time. Adult males and females live in territories that overlap and both genders will defend their territories against conspecifics of the same gender.
Iberian lynx are polygynous, with one male mating with multiple females, but in northern Donana National Park, where the amount of suitable territories is small and intersexual competition is increasing, males must have smaller territories, which are easier to defend against rival males, and so they focus on defending their exclusive access to one particular female, which results in monogamy. The mating season takes place from January to July. Gestation lasts about 60 days and the female bears 2-3 kittens that are born blind and helpless, weighing between 200 and 250 g (7.1 and 8.8 oz). The young become independent at about 7-10 months but will stay in the territory where they were born until the age of 20 months. A female waits until her territory is established before she breeds. This may take as long as 3 years or may, in fact, never happen. Males reach maturity when they are 1 year old.
The Iberian lynx’s largest threat is habitat destruction, and also the destruction of its prey. It is also often killed by traps set for rabbits, and by cars, as roading increases.
According to the IUCN Red List, the total population size of the Iberian lynx is 156 mature individuals. This species is classified as Endangered (EN), but its numbers are increasing today.
Aside from depending on European rabbits as their food source, Iberian lynx have very particular habitat requirements. Due to this, they could act as reliable bioindicators of the health of their particular ecosystem. Furthermore, moderate population numbers of these animals may positively affect overall prey fitness, predation possibly acting as a mechanism of disease control. Also, Iberian lynxes often kill smaller carnivores in order to reduce the competition for prey.