The Andalusian Regional Government has signed a collaboration agreement for the lynx conservation with the property of the property called 'Hueco bajo', a 327 hectares of forest land in La Carolina (Jaén).
The agreement, reached under the LIFE-Nature project 'Conservation and reintroduction of lynx in Andalusia', the Consejería de Medio Ambiente will develop several actions to improve the habitat for this species, and to increase the density of its primary prey, the rabbit. Its main activities include tasks for the adequacy of cover, such as pruning woody mass in fifteen acres of land and paid in ten.
To increase the rabbit population it'll be constructed and placed in heaps eighteen artificial burrows aiming to promote the reproduction of these animals. These tasks will be complemented by performing non-invasive monitoring of the lynx, for which there is provided a system of camera trapping.
A priority to promote the conservation of this animal has been the cooperation agreements with landowners, because most of the Iberian lynx population lives on private property. These agreements involve private by making a responsible hunting.
The Life Programme for the Iberian lynx has been a recovery of 49 percent in populations of this animal in Andalusia and expanding its distribution to 73 percent. In 2012, the population of lynx in the wild in Andalusia is estimated at about 225 individuals distributed between two isolated populations located in Sierra Morena and Doñana.
The Iberian lynx is the most emblematic endangered species in Spain and a symbol and a enormous challenge for conservation. A seteep decline had relegated them to two isolated populations in Doñana and Andújar, both in Andalusia's region, with around 60 and 200 individuals, respectively.
It is suspected that genetic factors might be behind recently observed decreases in survival and reproduction in this populations. Genomic researches will be helpful to improve the conservation programmes, in the Captive Breeding Centres and in the ex situ one, finding the specimens with genetic problems.