Once on the list of endangered species, Spain’s native Iberian lynx population is now thriving in Andalucia thanks to a European Union and Spanish government programme.
In 2004 only 94 of the wild cats were living in Andalucia. That number has now grown to 461 and includes an increase in breeding females.
Back in 2002, the native lynx was only found in sparsely populated areas of Andalucia and Huelva. Now with the aid of the Life+IBERLINCE programme, lynx cubs are bred in captivity before being released into the wild.
The Ministry of Fisheries and Wildlife estimates that today as many as 700 Iberian lynx are roaming wild in all parts of Spain.
Growing to about twice the size of an average domestic cat, the Iberian lynx is the smallest of the world’s three lynx species and lives primarily on rabbits. To see a lynx in the wild your best chance is to visit the Andujar Natural Park in the Sierra Morena mountains north of the A4 Cordoba to Jaen road.