About the Lynx
A Iberian Lynx may weigh anywhere from 22 to 29 lbs, and is 85-110 cm long. The fur is a gray/brown with black markings, and they are heavily spotted. They have long legs with a very short tail with a black tip. It also bears a characteristic beard around its face with prominent black ear tufts. The life expectancy is around 13 years.
Where was the Lynx last seen?
The Lynx is found in open forests, marquis thicket, sand dunes, and woodland settings of Spain and around Portugal. The lynx species is found in the Mediterranean Basin Biodiversity hot spot, located in between Eurasia and Africa. The climate of this hot spot is mild with large forests covering most of the Mediterranean Basin area.
The suspected culprit for the decline of the Iberian Lynx is the decline of the lynx's main food source, the European rabbit. The cause of the European rabbit's population decline was due to the spread of myxomatosis, which decimated the rabbit population all across Europe. Additional factors that contributed to the decline of the Iberian Lynx are illegal hunting, accidental killing by snares and poison traps set for other animals, and roadkill.
What Has Changed For It To Be Missing
Compared to the lynx's population ten years ago (several thousand), the current population (several hundred) has been in constant decline. In the lynx's ecosystem, the actual habitat has not been the main cause of it's endangerment, food has, although habitat loss has played a factor in the lynx's endangerment.
The Iberian Lynx is now fully protected by law from hunting and poaching, but there is still no guarantee that the Iberian Lynx will be able to increase substantially in population, as it is now labeled as the most endangered feline species in the world. In response to the Iberian Lynx crisis, BP (a company in Spain) is working with the Global Nature Fund to aid he needs of the lynx. BP is also working with Fundación Doñana to help restore lynx habitat in southwestern Spain.
By moving the Iberian Lynx to Southern California, it will allow the European Rabbit population to increase in Spain and Portugal. Once the Rabbit population is stable in Europe, and the Lynx population grows to a sustainable amount, around half of the Lynx will then be imported back to Spain. This is will help spread biodiversity and the Lynx will then be able to control the Rabbit population without destroying them.
There are several organizations that are trying their best to save the Iberian Lynx. This include The Murry Foundation, soslynx.com, The Nando Peretti Foundation, The Global Nature Fund, BP, WWF, and so on.