Successful breeding season: 23 Iberian lynx cubs born

by Lorraine Williamson
Iberian lynx cubs


The breeding season of the Iberian lynx ended this year with the birth of 23 new cubs. They were born in the breeding centres of the Doñana National Parks (El Acebuche, Huelva), and in Zarza de Granadilla (Cáceres). 

Of the 23 cubs born, 15 are males and 8 are females. 12 cubs, 10 males and 2 females, were born in 4 different nests in Zarza de Granadilla. Also from 4 nests, the remaining 11 cubs, 5 males and 6 females, were born in the breeding centre in Doñana National Park. The breeding centres are managed by the Organisation of Autonomous National Parks (OAPN). They falls under the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge.    

Reintroduction and reinforcement 

In several areas of the Iberian Peninsula, efforts are being made to reintroduce or reinforce the Iberian lynx. To date, 238 cubs have already been born in the centres managed by the OAPN. Furthermore, 150 of which have been released into the areas concerned. 

Seven weeks crucial 

According to the experts, 7 weeks is a crucial time for a litter. Because this is when things can get aggressive as the cubs determine their hierarchy within the nest. Moreover, this can even lead to the death of a cub within a nest. 

However, five of the eight nests have passed this aggressive phase. And there is confidence is the remaining three nests will also pass this time successfully. Following this, they will move on to the next phase, either remaining in breeding programmes or preparing for release. 

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Iberian lynx

Already this year, a total of 27 lynxes were released as part of the Iberian lynx breeding programme. In El Acebuche, 4 were released, and 5 in Granadilla.  

Historical maximum 

According to 2020 data in the latest working group report, the lynx population consists of 1,111 between Spain and Portugal. The working group is coordinated by the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge.  

The ministry has celebrated this figure is the ‘historical maximum’ recorded since monitoring programmes for the species have been in place. Furthermore, it is ‘a very significant increase’, given that less than 100 individuals were counted in 2002.

As reported yesterday, the new bill to protect against road accidents will futher help the number of lynxes in the area.

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