Lynx Not Licked Yet

Scientists in Spain reported finding a previously unknown population of the world’s rarest cat, the Iberian lynx

Iberian lynx

The discovery raises the number of populations from two to three. According to the WWF, the new population is located in the Castile la Mancha Province of central Spain, mostly in private estates. The announcement was made on Tuesday, after the animals were caught on film.

There are around 100 to 150 Iberian lynx in the world, including the new population. It is listed as “critically endangered”, which means there is a strong chance of it disappearing in the wild.

The adult male lynx weigh up to around 30 pounds and are around 3 feet tall. Females are slightly smaller. They have long legs and short tails. They have beard like hair around the face, and tufts of back hair at the ends of their ears.

The new population is genetically distinct from the other known populations, meaning there has been no breeding between the two. This is extremely good news for conservationists trying to save the cat, as it means inbreeding can be limited among the surviving population.

The cats have been threatened with extinction for years. Every year several are killed by cars on a highway near their grounds. Hunting, and the disappearance of their natural prey, the rabbit, has meant their populations have gone sharply down over the last few decades.

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