The Iberian lynx population in Spain tripled in the last nine years and has reached from 94 to 312 members. This increase is mainly due to the conservation projects, which have succeeded in increasing significantly the number of specimens in every area: Andújar-Cardeña, Guadalmellato, Guarrizas y Doñana, reported the Environment Department of the Andalusia Autonomous Government.
The most remarkable evolution happened in Doñana, where the population of iberian felid has broadened from 41 in 202 to 88 in 2011. Moreover, the occupied area has increased by 240% and the number of territorial females (19, two more than last year) suggest that Doñana's population could be slowly coming out of its critical situation.
In this regard, the last researchers in Doñana's sector demonstrate that the increase of the linx occupied area is directly related to the actions taken to improve the habitat and the rabbit populations, its main prey.
Furthermore, the most remarkable fact for some years now is the foundation of a new population in the area of Aznalcázar-La Puebla, in Seville's province, where 14 linx lives.
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.