Captive breeding is one of the actions being undertaken to try and prevent the Iberian lynx declining to extinction. The plan is to breed individuals in captivity until their is a surplus suitable for reintroduction in the wild. In 2005, 1 female gave birth to 2 kittens. In 2006, 2 females gave birth to 2 kittens each, in addition to a female who gave birth prematurely to a litter that did not survive. The kitten in the picture is from one of the 2006 litters. Captive breeding is a highly expensive conservation action whose success is never guranteed. However, the situation of the Iberian lynx is so critical that radical actions are needed. Parrallel to the captive breeding are a range of projects designed to improve lynx habitat and increase populations of lynx prey, the rabbit.
Text: John Linnell / Photo: www.lynxexsitu.es