Iberian lynx

Iberian lynx

The Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) is a wild cat species endemic to the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. In the 20th century, the Iberian lynx population had declined because of overhunting, poaching, fragmentation of suitable habitats, and the population decline of its main prey species, the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), caused by myxomatosis and rabbit haemorrhagic disease.

By the turn of the 21st century, the Iberian lynx was on the verge of extinction, as only 94 individuals survived in two isolated subpopulations in Andalusia in 2002. Conservation measures have been implemented since then, which included improving habitat, restocking of rabbits, translocating, reintroducing and monitoring Iberian lynxes. By 2012, the population had increased to 326 individuals, to 855 in 2020, and to 1,111 in 2021.

It is a monotypic species, and is thought to have evolved from Lynx issiodorensis.