Jose Antonio Morante, called 'Morante de la Puebla, and José Antonio Ruiz, 'Espartaco', two spanish bullfighters, took part in the release of Baya in Doñana --in Huelva, Andalusia-- after his recovering from the injuries sustained during a fight with other specimens.
Baya was the first Iberian lynx from Sierra Morena who was introduced in Doñana to increase the biological diversity in 2008, reported the enviromental authotyties of the regional government of Andalusia. Since then, he had 10 direct descendents and 17 grandchildren.
The bullfighters had shown their support to the LIFE program, headed by the Junta de Andalucía and whith the participation of the Spanish and Portuguese gobernments and the regional gobernements of Extremadura, Castilla-La Mancha y Murcia.
The lynx has a radiotracking necklace wich will provide information about the evolution and movements withouth interrupting the natural life of this animal. Baya is a male born free in Sierra Morena, an area with 202 lynxs nowadays. This specimen was released in Doñana and he has distributed his genetical in the area, contributing to increase the diversity levels. The main goal with this decission of changing Baya's place is strenghten the genetic variability of Doñana's lynx. The population in this sector reach 88 specimens.
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.