The Iberian lynx was in danger of extinction around 20 years ago and was almost the first big cat in the cat family to go extinct since the massive Smilodon, which went extinct around 10,000 years ago.
But today, thanks to the efforts of the breeding (fertilization) and monitoring programs, the number of Iberian lynxes has increased, around 1,100 of them at the end of 2020.
The Spanish Ministry of the Environment said that this number had never been recorded in the last twenty years, which emphasizes the effective role of centers in their reproduction process.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the number of lynx was around 100,000, but urbanization, poaching and wars strongly affected their communities, until their numbers reached less than 100 lynxes just at the beginning of the third millennium.
The Acebosch Breeding Center, based in the reserve in southern Spain, is one of five centers that have tried to increase the number of lynx in the wild and, since 2000, have established a program dedicated to this issue.
As for the other four centers, they are located in Portugal, which is the second country where the lynx population is widespread, hence its name “Iberian”. In Andalusia, large numbers of lynx are collected.
The Iberian lynx is larger than the fox and has black and white fur that covers part of its face and black earlobes.