Life Lynx Program technicians have found this morning (April 18th) a lynx body with signs of having been run over. The dead lynx was lying at the 47.9 kilometer of the A-49, near to La Palma del Condado. The author of the accident alerted the Guardia Civil.
This is a juvenile -whose sex has not yet been determined- who belongs to the Doñana-Aljarafe population, as reported in a press conference the delegate of the Junta de Andalucía's Enviroment Department in Huelva, Juan Manuel López.
Project staff and Life-Lynx Environmental Agents moved to the area at dawn to withdraw the animal and transfer its body to the Center for Analysis and Diagnosis of Andalusia (CAD), based in Malaga, where was held the necropsy and analysis necessary to determine the cause of death.
According to the delegate, what happened was "a misfortune". The episode shows that "the population is growing, is spreading to other areas and new areas are being repopulated".
The annual census conducted by the Ministry of Environment in 2011 recorded a population of 312 Iberian lynx in Andalusia, tripling the number in the last nine years due to conservation projects of the Regional Government and endorsed by the European Union such as the Life-Lynx. The last census the population of Doñana-Aljarafe was about 88 individuals.
Furthermore, the census of Iberian lynx in Andalusia in 2011 shows an increase of 13% over the 275 counted last year throughout the region and of 231% over the 94 members of 2002. These data confirm the general trend of recovery experienced by the feline in recent years.
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.