The Iberian Lynx

The Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) was once widespread across the Iberian Peninsula, aka Portugal and Spain, but their population has declined drastically over recent decades due to habitat loss, hunting, high non-natural mortality from road kills and reductions in prey from diseases. Today, this lynx is one the most endangered feline species in the world, with as few as 400 individuals surviving in the wild.

There is a very reduced genetic variability due to their small population, but conservation efforts are being undertaken to prevent the Iberian lynx’s extinction. These actions focus mainly on habitat management, especially by increasing prey density, measures for traffic calming, awareness campaigns and captive-breeding programmes aiming to reintroduction.

According to WWF, the Iberian lynx’s population has increased from less than 100 individuals in 2002 to roughly 400 now living in Mediterranean forests thanks to these measures. Back then, there were only two isolated breeding subpopulations in the world, in southern Spain, but today we can find a couple of more strongholds: Sierra Morena and Montes de Toledo in Castilla-La Mancha (Spain), the Matachel Valley in Extremadura (Spain), and Guadiana Valley in Portugal. A total of 53 cubs were born in captivity in 2015 alone, and IUCN’s most recent assessment has downgraded the Iberian Lynx from “critically endangered” to “endangered”. But the future of the species is still fragile and, from continued intensive management and habitat enhancement to recolonization, there is still a lot of work to do.

rsz_doajdayt
My WoW character Arianwen and her lynx companions, Thori and Sin’dal. Artwork by Iria Riven.

Starting on June 1st 2017, 10% of Wild Treasury’s sales and commissions revenue will be periodically donated to Portuguese programmes aiming to ensure the protection and survivability of the Iberian lynx, depending on ongoing projects. These are mostly programmes that work towards enhancement of wild rabbit’s natural populations and habitat restoration together with local stakeholders, often carrying out educational and environmental awareness activities. Everytime a donation is delivered, I will share a receipt here on the website and on my social media as evidence.

That being said by purchasing from my Etsy shop or commissioning me, you will be contributing not only to help me grow my passion but also to these ongoing efforts to save Sin’dal and Thori’s European cousins. And I can never be more grateful. 🙂