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Iberlince - Recovering the historic distribution range of the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) in Spain and Portugal

LIFE10 NAT/ES/000570


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Contact details:

Project Manager: José Luis HERNÁNDEZ GARIJO
Tel: +34 670 945185
Fax: +34 955003777
Email: viceconsejeria.cmaot@juntadeandalucia.es



Project description:

Background

Up until the 19th century, the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) could be found in all the regions of Spain and Portugal. Since then, and particularly in the last decades of the 20th century, its population and distribution area have suffered an alarming decline. The species is the most threatened carnivorous mammal in Europe. There are currently only two reproductive populations of Iberian lynx, both in Andalusia (Doñana-Aljarafe and Eastern Sierra Morena). This medium-sized feline (8-14 kg) lives in areas characterised by a mixture of dense woodland, Mediterranean scrub and pasture. It prospers in areas with an abundance of its main prey - rabbits - and where interference from humans is minimal. The main causes of its decline have been epidemics that have greatly reduced rabbit population, resulting in a lack of food and loss of habitat. LIFE projects have already worked to improve the conservation status of this species, improving knowledge and understanding of its needs, developing a captive breeding and release programme and developing rabbit populations. However, many challenges remain and the species is not yet safe.


Objectives

This transnational project (Spain-Portugal) aims at restoring the historical distribution of the Iberian Lynx across areas of Andalusia, Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura (all in Spain) and Portugal. The project will work to reinforce numbers of the species in the existing populations, and establish new populations in areas identified as appropriate. The project will introduce individual animals both bred in captivity or captured elsewhere to increase the numbers of animals in the existing populations and increase the genetic diversity of these populations. It will also seek to increase their breeding and survival rates by continuing work to improve the habitat to favour the species and particularly to facilitate a quantifiable increase of connectivity between population cores through corridors. The project will continue to develop measures to improve the co-operation of relevant stakeholders in protecting the species, particularly landowners, hunters and road users. These combined actions seek to decrease the mortality of the species from accidental road death, furtive hunting and pursuit and other negligent activities, including poisoning. The project will carefully identify areas with sufficient resources for the reintroduction of self-sustaining populations of lynx in Portugal, Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura and Andalusia. It will then use habitat-improvement and threat-reduction measures and strategic release to try to establish four new Iberian lynx populations, each with five territorial females, in the most suitable of these.

Expected results:

    • Increase the numbers of existing Iberian lynx populations to 70 territorial females in Eastern Sierra Morena and 25 in Doñana-Aljarafe;
    • Increase the heterozygosity of existing populations by 7% in Doñana-Aljarafe and by 3% in Eastern Sierra Morena;
    • Decrease in mortality rates of the species from different identified causes: road kill by 30%; furtive hunting and pursuit by 20%; other negligence by 10%; and infectious diseases by 10%;
    • Establish four new Iberian lynx populations with five territorial females each in different SCIs where the species was present historically; and
    • Achieve a specimen fixation rate of no less than 50% from the released individuals and a recruitment of no less than 33% from the reintroduced females.


    Results


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Environmental issues addressed:

Themes

Species - Mammals


Keywords

endemic species‚  introduction of animal species


Target species

 Lynx pardinus     


Natura 2000 sites

SCI ES0000024 DOÑANA
SCI ES0000050 SIERRA DE HORNACHUELOS
SCI ES0000051 SIERRA DE ARACENA Y PICOS DE AROCHE
SCI ES0000052 SIERRA PELADA Y RIVERA DEL ASERRADOR
SCI ES0000053 SIERRA NORTE
SCI ES4210016 SIERRA DEL RELUMBRAR Y ESTRIBACIONES DE ALCARAZ
SCI ES4250005 MONTES DE TOLEDO
SCI ES4310045 VALDECIGÜEÑAS
SCI ES4320002 Cedillo y Río Tajo Internacional
SCI ES4320013 GRANADILLA
SCI ES6130001 SIERRA DE CARDEÑA Y MONTORO
SCI ES6130003 SIERRA DE SANTA EUFEMIA
SCI ES6130004 Río Guadalmez
SCI ES6130005 SUROESTE DE LA SIERRA DE CARDEÑA Y MONTORO
SCI ES6130006 GUADALMELLATO
SCI ES6130007 GUADIATO-BEMBEZAR
SCI ES6140006 SIERRA DE ARANA
SCI ES6150009 DOÑANA NORTE Y OESTE
SCI ES6150010 Andévalo Occidental
SCI ES6150012 DEHESA DEL ESTERO Y MONTES DE MOGUER
SCI ES6150021 Corredor Ecológico del Río Tinto
SCI ES6150022 RIVERA DE CHANZA
SCI ES6150023 DEHESA DE TORRECUADROS Y ARROYO DE PILAS
SCI ES6160005 DESPEÑAPERROS
SCI ES6160006 SIERRAS DE ANDÚJAR
SCI ES6160008 CUENCAS DEL RUMBLAR, GUADALEN Y GUADALMENA
SCI ES6180005 Corredor Ecológico del Río Guadiamar
SCI ES6200003 Sierra de La Pila
SCI ES6200018 Sierra de la Muela
SCI ES6200035 Sierra de Almenara
SCI PTCON0004 Malcata
SCI PTCON0036 Guadiana
SCI PTCON0053 Moura / Barrancos
SCI ES4320077 MONFRAGÜE


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Beneficiaries:

Coordinator Consejería de Medio Ambiente. Junta de Andalucía.
Type of organisation Regional authority
Description Consejería de Medio Ambiente (Junta de Andalucía), is the regional ministry for the environment in Andalusia, with full powers in nature conservation.
Partners Instituto da Conservação da Natureza e da Biodiversidade-Ministério do Ambiente e do Ordenamento do Território, Portugal Organismo Autónomo de Parques Nacionales (Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, Medio Rural y Marino), Spain Consejería de Industria, Energía y Medio Ambiente (Junta de Extremadura), Spain Consejería de Agricultura y Medio Ambiente (Junta de Comunidades de Castilla – La Mancha), Spain Consejería de Medio Ambiente (Comunidad Autónoma de la Región de Murcia), Spain Federación Extremeña de Caza (FEDEREX), Spain Empresa de Gestión Medio-Ambiental Sociedad Anónima (EGMASA), Spain Federación Andaluza de Caza (FAC), Spain Consejería de Obras Públicas y Transportes (Junta de Andalucía), Spain Consejería de Agricultura y Pesca (Junta de Andalucía), Spain Sociedad Española para la Conservación y Estudio de los Mamíferos (SECEM), Spain Fundación CBD-Hábitat, Spain Ecologistas en Acción Andalucía, Spain sociación de Propietarios Rurales, Productores de Caza y Conservadores del Medio Natural de España (APROCA), Spain Arturo Menor (ACAJÚ), Spain WWF-España Asociación para la Defensa de la Naturaleza de Extremadura (ADENEX), Spain

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Project reference LIFE10 NAT/ES/000570
Duration 01-SEP-2011 to 31-DEC -2017
Total budget 34,015,188.00 €
EU contribution 20,943,399.00 €
Project location Extremadura(España),Andalucía(España),Murcia(España)

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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version