In August 17 the female Grazalema that was released in Guarrizas reintroduction area, was found dead. The body of the specimen was found in the south of Ciudad Real province, in Castilla-La Mancha, in a box-trap. This sad fact highlights the incompatibility of the use of predator control methods (banned in Andalusia) with the survival of the lynx.
Castilla-La Mancha has approved the Recovery Plan for the Iberian lynx and some areas are declared as sensitive areas critical to the survival of the species. This plan provides that in the critical areas for the species, except in cases of risk to the safety of persons, predator control systems which may adversely affect the lynx are not permitted.
Despite this setback, the status of the reintroduction in Guarrizas valley continues into the most optimistic scenario expected during the first year. The four remaining individuals remain in the area, and are adjusting their territories. It is expected that during 2012 breeding season, at least one of the two females released reproduce.
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.