Iberian Lynx Back in Spain after Forty Years

The Iberian lynx is a wild cat that is on the endangered list that has not lived or been seen in or around Madrid, Spain, for about 40 years. However, recently, one of the nearly extinct Iberian lynx was tracked near Madrid thanks to a captive breeding program by the World Wildlife Fund.

The World Wildlife Fund announced that they had tracked one of their Iberian Lynx males named Kentaro with a GPS collar, who had gone over 60 miles from his last location in Toledo, where he had been released by them in 2014. According to information sent from the lynx’s tracking collar, it was wandering around near the central part of Madrid in a town called Aranjuez, which is 30 miles from the city of Madrid.

Kentaro was born in the World Wildlife Fund captive breeding program and was let go last year with seven other lynx near Toledo. The lynx has wandered nearly 100 kilometers since then, which means it has been crossing roads and is lucky to not have been killed by a vehicle, as in the past year, 21 of the other types of lynx in the area like the Eurasian lynx have been killed by vehicles. Those tracking Kentaro say that the animals must have swam rivers or went over bridges, as some of the roads along the route are fenced.

Conservationists trying to protect the remaining Iberian lynx want authorities in Madrid to take some measures to help protect them and other rare and endangered animals. The people at the World Wildlife Fund are concerned about this particular lynx, as it would have been safer where it was dropped off in Toledo since there were rabbits and other small animals for it to hunt, as well as habitat for it to find a home. Plus, with no female lynx in his area, he also won’t be helping to increase his species.

When it comes to the amount of Iberian lynx left in the wild, it is estimated there are only about 332 as seen in 2013, but this is an improvement slightly over the 94 seen in a similar search in 2002. Sources say what is causing the most problems for the Iberian lynx to be able to multiply because of things like encroachment on their living space, illegal hunting practices, and the death of their prey through disease.

There are existing Spanish laws and regulations already in place to protect the Iberian lynx and other endangered animals, but it is still struggling to survive. Traffic is said to be one of the worst issues and the World Wildlife Fund wants the government to fence in more roads to help protect the Iberian lynx and other animals.

Madrid is one of the last areas in Spain to produce a plan for the recovery of the Iberian lynx and other endangered animals, according to officials at the World Wildlife Fund. They added that this plan is required by national laws to protect endangered creatures such as the wolf, and the Iberian Lynx.