The Iberian Lynx

Mountain range of Andujar Natural Park

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Natural Park

The largest number of population the nail cat

 

Although the Iberian lynx is a protected species since 1966, this wonderful feline is in danger of extinction. At present, only two populations are viable and consolidated for the development and proliferation of this species: Doñana and the one existing in the natural spaces of the Sierra de Cardeña and Montoro Natural Park and the Sierra de Andújar Natural Park, being this last one where we find the largest population center of the nail cat.

 

Around the world there are just over three hundred Iberian lynx numbers. Many of them live in the Mediterranean mountains of the Sierra de Andújar Natural Park. In the past, this exceptional feline, endemic to Spain and Portugal, was distributed throughout the peninsula, but its populations have been decreasing over time drastically. At present, the Iberian lynx - Lynx pardinus - is a species considered "critically endangered".

The gentle scrub and holm oak forests of the Sierra de Andújar have become one of the last refuges of this extraordinary animal species which is difficult to observe in the middle of nature. The Iberian lynx has the appearance of a large cat with spotted skin, a very short tail and pointed ears that end in a characteristic tuft of hair like a brush. It inhabits the quietest places in the park, and at dawn, after having made a stealthy night tour in search of hunting, usually receives the first rays of the sun lying on the warm granite stones. Rabbits are their main source of food. To a large extent, it depends on the health of these mammal populations to survive. The care of its natural habitat and the tranquility to breed and raise its puppies are other of the imperative needs of the Iberian lynx. On the roads of the Natural Park there are signs that warn of their presence and that ask the visitor to maintain the calm of the place and to take extreme precautions in driving to avoid outrages.

Lince Ibérico en el Parque Natural
Lince Ibérico en el Parque Natural

@ Carlos Expósito 'Turismo Verde'

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EL ÚLTIMO LINCE El hombre y la tierra (25:09)

RTVE (1979). Canal PortiSpinola

The Lynx
Decline causes

 

The main decline causes of the Iberian lynx in the past have been declining rabbit populations, habitat destruction, and unnatural mortality. The collapse of the rabbit populations on the one side and the destruction of the habitat on the other, have caused a great decrease of the carrying capacity of the environment in most of the historical range of the Iberian lynx.  So that in an area where there were previously conditions for ten lynx to live, now at most one could. In addition, an increase of diseases on the population has been detected.

The Lynx
EU aid programs for the conservation of the lynx

 

The LIFE program is a financial instrument created by the European Union in 1992 to conserve and protect the environment. The projects co-finance three different areas: Nature, Environment and Third Countries.

The main objective of the LIFE nature, where the LIFE Lince project is situated, is to contribute to the conservation of nature to maintain and improve the natural habitats and/or the animal and plant species of the designated areas that are included to the Natura 2000 Network.

With the LIFE lynx project a series of actions have been carried out aimed at minimizing threats and reducing limiting factors in the conservation of the Iberian lynx. The ultimate goal is to reduce the risk of extinction for the species by increasing both the population size and the number of populations. In this way, the actions that are developed in the project are the following:

Increase in population size

Actions aimed at increasing the carrying capacity.

  • Recovery of the rabbit with restocking.

  • Supplementary feeding.

Actions aimed at reducing mortality.

  • Reduction of the rate of accidents.

  • Poaching rate reduction.

  • Reduction of the impact of diseases.

  • Increased genetic variability.

Increase of the number of populations

  • Creation of new nuclei: reintroduction. In the reintroduction areas, all the actions aimed at increasing the population size described above are also carried out.

In order to carry out an adequate implementation and evaluation of the above actions, it is necessary to carry out a routine monitoring of the Iberian lynx and rabbit populations.

Subsequently, the LIFE + program was developed, which was the financial instrument of the European Union dedicated to the environment for the period between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2013. It has provided specific support to develop and implement Community Policy and Legislation on the environment.

The Lynx
To see a lynx in Andújar

 

To locate and observe an Iberian lynx we must look for a good observatory from which we can see the whole mountain range, many slopes, rocks, scrub and above all, many clearings of grassland. Among the best areas to do a day of observation are:

 

  • Last section of the Camino de la Lancha.

  • Path and recreational area of Encinarejo.

  • The north shore of the Encinarejo Reservoir.

  • All the viewpoints in the southern part of the park.

  • Zone of the Sendero del Jabalí.

  • Recreational area of ​​the Straight (Recta) Trail in Lugar Nuevo.

Staying in the observatory, it is essential to be very attentive and silence, so, even with the naked eye, we can distinguish a lynx moving if it is not too far away. We will also begin a sweep of the area using binoculars. With them we will go looking at the clearings and the projections of the land; thus, we can discover a cat perched on a rock. We must leave the telescope for the last search, to look further and search very slowly or even to look at the animal once we have discovered it.

As with almost all predators, corvids are also very aggressive with the Iberian lynx (perhaps this is the animal with which they most fuss), so we have to be very aware of the movements and claims of the magpies. 50% of the success of observing a lynx can come from knowing how to interpret corvids.

For the good of the species and of future visitors looking to see the big cat, we must respect all the rules of public use, be respectful of the environment, always keep silent and not disturb the animals in any way. Nor should we enter privately owned farms without authorization or deviate from established trails.

The Lynx
Local companies that will show the Iberian lynx:

Turismo Verde

Nature Guides

Carlos Expósito Expósito y Mª Magdalena Rodriguez Ayuso
Historiador Antonio Terrones 12-7ª N, Andújar
628 91 67 31 / 681 02 23 77

info@lasierradeandujar.com I www.lasierradeandujar.com

SCHEDULE: telephone attention from 10.00 to 20.00 h.

OBSERVATIONS: lynx territory, interpreted guided tours, wildlife observation and 4x4 routes through the natural park.

Birds&Lynx Ecotourism

Nature Guides

Inmaculada Muela Arroyes y Fernando Torres Medina
Fuente Palmera, 5A, La Carolina
659 93 65 66 / 660 62 30 53

info@birdslynxecotourism.com I www.birdslynxecotourism.com

SCHEDULE: telephone attention 24h.

OBSERVATIONS: observation of fauna, interpretive routes and ornithological tourism, bellowing of the deer, observation of the Iberian lynx.

Naturoots

Wildlife sighting

Daniel Joaquín Risueño Sánchez
Carretera de la Alcaparrosa km. 3, 3, Andújar
654 96 02 42 / 699 85 24 35

contact.naturoots@gmail.com I naturoots.org

SCHEDULE: telephone attention 24h.

OBSERVATIONS: photographic guide, interpretive routes and environmental education activities.

Iberian LynxLand

Nature Guides

José Luis Ojeda Navio y Jose Luis Sánchez Balsera
Velillos, 19, Andújar
636 98 45 15 / 626 700 525

info@iberianlynxland.com I www.iberianlynxland.com

SCHEDULE: telephone attention from 9.00 to 21.00 h.

OBSERVATIONS: 4x4 routes through the Sierra de Andújar, Sierra de Cazorla and Sierra Mágina, routes through private farms and photography guide of threatened fauna

SAYR

Engineering and leisure

Emilio José Rodríguez Rodríguez
Pje. José Ramón Menéndez Pérez Nº1, 2ºEsc Izq, Puerta B, Andújar
662 23 90 32

sayrandujar@gmail.com I emiliojrr88@hotmail.com I 

www.sayrnatural.com

SCHEDULE: telephone attention 24 h.

OBSERVATIONS: interpreted nautical routes in kayak, interpreted hiking routes with fauna sighting, summer camp packs, bellowing and sighting of the Iberian lynx. Performs with AMECO.