The Last Lynx
The Story of a Struggling Species
Humans have a deadly knack of deleting an entire species.
Gone are the days when it took an immense natural event, such as an asteroid crashing down from the skies to send an entire population into the annals of extinction, now it's hunting, fishing, farming, pollution and climate-change induced disasters that spell out death.
Not to forget that peculiarly human pastime of War.
There are many sad stories of animals in critical danger, this is just one of them.
The Lynx is overlooked
Tigers are often in the news, scientific articles on their endangered status and appeals by celebrities to help save a tiger make frequent appearances in media. You scarcely see a mention of a lynx.
The lynx is the world's most threatened species of cat, and the most threatened carnivore in Europe. Not the happiest of accolades.
Once the Iberian Lynx roamed across the entire Iberian Peninsula but now he is found only in two small areas of Spain.
The Handsome Lynx
The Lynx and I
The lynx and I share a number of things in common. We share an ancestor, the noble African Wild Cat and, at a pinch, we could change places. Put more simply, we're both cats to start with.
Take a look at that lynx. He's a handsome cat, and his photo clearly shows his striking looks and the four sets of whiskers - two groups on the ears and two on the chin, just like me.
The facial fur is particularly striking - almost like a beard.
My life, however, is a pampered one, while he is literally on his last legs.
We like the same food but I don't have to hunt for mine, it's delivered to me at set times each day. The main source of food for the lynx are Spanish wild rabbits and these animals, ironically, are also facing extinction.
Just over one hundred viable Iberian Lynx adults remain in the wild
Competition for Food is Fierce
The Iberian Lynx already faces problems from a decline in prey as Myxomatosis rapidly kills off the wild rabbits.
The lynx now competes for prey with the meloncillo (a mongoose), the red fox and the wildcat.
The lynx is hunted too – he’s often seen as a pest and there are always people who just can’t resist fur boots! The worst danger, however, is urban development.
This could be the last lynx you'll ever see
Not since the Sabertooth
The Iberian Lynx, the most endangered of the world’s 36 cats, stands on the edge of extinction.
The latest studies, based on DNA analysis, make depressing reading.
Despite decades of protection, millions of pesetas and euros, hundreds of studies, and the work of some of Europe’s best conservationists and zoologists, just over one hundred viable lynx adults remain in the wild
Whoever and whatever is to blame, the lynx’s imminent disappearance will be the first extinction of a world feline, discounting sub-species of tigers and lions, since the saber-toothed tiger some 10,000 years ago.
Lynx Territory is small to begin with
Take a last look at the lynx
The Lynx is a Flagship Species
The lynx is an example of a classic ‘flagship species’.
This means that, by protecting the lynx habitat, other species which rely on the same habitat are also protected.
Black vultures (as well as rabbits) share the habitat and they're also threatened.
Lynx PhotosClick thumbnail to view full-size
What do you say?
How can we help the Lynx?
Support Endangered Creatures
Why should anyone care about species that are being lost on the planet?
It's not just compassion for these creatures, like the Iberian lynx, that make it imperative to fight extinction, their loss is more than tragic it will be dangerous to the ecosystem.
All creatures are part of an ecosystem. All animals thrive on each other, whether they are predator or prey. The next extinction can be the one to tip the scales - to ruin biodiversity.
© 2014 Vladimir