The Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) is one notable example of a species at the brink of extinction. It is also the most emblematic endangered species in Spain, where it has become both a symbol and an enormous challenge for species conservation. Its current situation has prompted its designation as the most endangered felid species and its classification as "critically endangered" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Once abundant and widely distributed in the Iberian Peninsula, a steep process of decline and fragmentation during the 20th century has relegated the species to less than 250 individuals located in the two remnant populations in Doñana and Andújar.
Commonly identified causes for the recent decline of the Iberian lynx have included the destruction and fragmentation of its habitat, direct persecution and, more recently, the decline of rabbit populations, a prey lynxes heavily depend on. Genomics can bring hope to their future.
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.