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Spanish Lynx.

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Spanish Lynx

Spanish Lynx
By Ryan Atkinson


The lynx is a wild carnivore which is endangered. Its scientific name is Felis pardina and it belongs to the Felidae family. The Spanish Lynx is classified as a Lynx Pardinus. Lynx is the name given to several related small, ferocious members of the cat family.

The lynx is very similar to a cat, but larger than it. It has very long legs, large paws and a tuft of hair more than 2 cm long at the end of each ear. Its body is very strong and it varies from 65 cm to 130 cm in length plus a short tail. It’s covered with thick and soft fur. It has an average weight of 15-25 kg.

The lynx eats hares, rabbits, rodents, fawns and terrestrial birds. They lie in wait for their prey on the limbs of the trees. It is also common for the lynx to stalk their prey. Like allcats it is a superb predator and highly efficient killing machine. Stealthy and silent it covers a territory of many miles each day in search of its prey, namely rabbits, birds and other small animals.

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This lynx was once distributed over all of Spain and Portugal. It is now largely restricted to mountainous areas, because it is extinct in the lowlands. Spanish Lynxes prefer open grassland with few trees. They hunt at night, and in the daytime they hide under the shrubs.


The Spanish lynx is a quiet animal, never plentiful and limited to little inhabited zones. So it is very difficult to know with precision its distribution and its number.

In 1987-1988 after studying both parameters scientists determined that the lynx occupied more than 11000 square kilometers (out of more than 500.000 square km) in Spain. At that time the world population was estimated at more than 1000 lynx. The Lynx is heavily hunted as it is considered as pest and its fur gets a high price.


Lynxes are agile climbers, spending some of their time in good weather on the branches oftrees.

Shy and elusive, the Spanish lynx is one of the world's rarest animals, existing only in parts of southern Spain. It is estimated that no more than 200 of these animals exist in wooded hills and mountain ranges. Like a small leopard with a tom cat's face.

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Age at first reproduction: Females are able to breed in their first winter, but the time of first reproduction depends upon demographic and environmental factors. In a high-density population, such as that in Doñana National Park, age at first reproduction depends upon when a female acquires a territory. This normally occurs because of either death or expulsion of a resident. One female did not reproduce until five years of age, and this only occurred when the mother died and left the territory vacant.
Age at last reproduction: 10 years.
Longevity: up to 13 years.


Iberian lynx are primarily nocturnal animals. Their activity peaks around twilight as they prepare to hunt through the night. They traverse an overall average of 7km throughout their waking hours, males average a longer travelling distance than females.

These cats are strong tree climbers when there is a need.

When prey is caught, Iberian lynx drag or carry the carcass for quite some distance from the kill site. Then it is consumed and the remains buried.

Territorial boundaries of like sexes do not overlap. Male territories overlap with those of several females.

Breeding lairs of females include a variety of places such as hollows under thickets, burrows, hollow trees, and old stork nests. After her kittens have reached an age of several weeks, the mother will move the cubs to a larger lair, often under a bush.

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