08 April 2008

Incremental Increase

Iberian Lynx (Lynx Pardinus), Critically Endangered

Three Iberian Lynx kittens have recently been born in captivity, boosting the population of the worlds rarest cat.

Saliega, raised in captivity since birth, has produced her fourth litter in as many years. Three kittens were born, but only two survived, which is often the case in the wild. However, Brisa, Saliega's daughter, produced two kittens of her own within days of her mother. Of those two, one was still-born, and the other is being cared for by staff at the breeding center in Huelva, Spain.

Azahar and Frans, another pair of Iberian Lynx at a zoo in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, are expected to have a litter in mid-April.

There are currently only about 150 Iberian Lynx living in the wild, and scientists have estimated that there is a 95% chance the they will be extinct within 32 years, without drastic measures. A captive breeding program is underway, and additional centers are being constructed, but the problems of habitat loss and fragmentation continue to plague the recovery of Europe's last large feline.

Support efforts to save the lynx through petitions, donations, and other methods.

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