AFTER nearly 40 years and their near extinction, the world’s rarest cat, the Iberian Lynx has been spotted in the Madrid region.
Last November saw the culmination of much hard work from the WWF when eight wild Lynx were reintroduced to the wild in the Toledo Hills, including a male called Kentaro.
The long running project to ensure the survival of these most threatened of the Big Cats saw GPS tracking systems mounted to their collars to enable constant monitoring. So when one was spotted just 50 kilometres south of the capital, they knew straight away that it was Kentaro.
Ramón Pérez de Ayala, head of the WWF Life+Iberlince project, tells us that he was a little surprised to find Kentaro over 100 kilometres away from the release site, because normally Lynx will not roam far from their territory. However, the fact that he has managed to safely cross roads and bridges on his ´Walk-about´ shows he has a good survival instinct.
The aim of the project is to establish some five reproductive females in the Toledo ranges with the goal of creating a population of between 30 and 40 Lynx by 2017. Hopefully the WWF will be able to convince regional government to help protect lynxes under regional and national environmental legislation. As it would appear, at the moment none of the occupied areas have any special measures in place.