First Iberian lynx Born In Captivity In Portugal

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Two Iberian lynx have been born in captivity in Portugal, the first time since the endangered species was reintroduced last year, the Portuguese environment ministry said Tuesday.The two baby lynx, born on Sunday, were the first from Azahar, a five year-old female, and the first of the species raised in Portugal in the context of the conservation programme run by Portugal and Spain for five years.

The Iberian lynx, which can measure up to one metre (3.3 feet) long and weigh 15 kilogrammes (33 pounds), is native to the Iberian peninsula, which at the start of the 20th century counted 100,000 cats in the region.
Urbanisation, hunting and a disease that affected rabbits — the lynx’s main prey — have all contributed to endangering the species that now numbers no more than 200 in the wild.

There has been no trace of the species in Portugal since 2001.Spain’s reproduction programme allows it to hold 72 lynx in captivity.Since October 2009 it has sent 16 cats to Portugal, which raises the animals in a reproduction centre in Sines in the south, before releasing them in their natural environment after three years.


(source)

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