Spanish lynx: features of the species

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Spanish lynx: features of the species
Spanish lynx: features of the species
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One of the rarest animals among predators on our planet is the Spanish or Pyrenean lynx. There are very few of these amazing creatures left in nature. They are carefully guarded by the authorities, but the number of predators does not exceed 150 specimens.

It is noteworthy that most of these animals live in the Doñana National Park in Spain. The park itself covers 75,800 hectares and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Spanish lynx with prey

Lynx Description

This feline has a relatively small size. The Spanish lynx is much smaller than the normal lynx. The length of an adult varies from 60 to 100 centimeters, and the animal can weigh up to 25 kilograms.

The Spanish lynx is smaller than the Eurasian lynx, but it has a more muscular body and developed paws. The coat of this mammal is coarse, of small length. The color of individuals can vary from rich yellow to dark brown tones. In addition, the entire body of the Spanish lynx is covered with black spots.

Females are inferior in size to males. In the jaw area, both sexes have a kind of "whiskers". There are small tufts of dark fur on the ears.

Habitats

The Spanish lynx is found only in the southwestern part of the country. There are two populations that are isolated from each other. This factor puts the species at even greater risk, since fewer specimens participate in the reproduction of the population.

It is noteworthy that in the middle of the last century this kind of lynx was common throughout the Iberian Peninsula. But today the Spanish lynx is considered a completely extinct species in Portugal. This predator prefers to live in bushes rather than forests.

Pyrenean lynx

Lifestyle and reproduction

Lynx, like other species of predatory animals, is highly dependent on food sources. Each individual has its own individual territory. The size of such a site can reach 20 square kilometers. In this case, the area depends on the amount of production on it. The smaller the game, the larger the area. The size of the plot also depends on food rivals. The main competition of the lynx is its relatives, as well as foxes and mongooses.

When the mating season comes, females temporarily forget about their possessions and leave them in order to go in search of a male. The mating season for this predator runs from January to July. A lynx's pregnancy lasts up to two months. Before the birth of the cubs, the female goes in search of a secludedplaces.

As a rule, the lynx makes its home in cork oak hollows or in dense thickets. Soon kittens are born. Most often, a lynx has two or three cubs. Their weight does not exceed 250 grams. The upbringing of offspring is carried out exclusively by the female. The father does not participate in this process.

Babies feed on mother's milk up to 5 months, but normal food can be consumed as early as 30 days after birth. It is noteworthy that at the age of two months, lynxes can show aggression towards each other. It often happens that a strong cub kills a weaker one. Scientists believe that this feature occurs because raw meat begins to enter the diet of babies.

Lynx cubs become independent at about ten months, but the cubs leave their mother only at the age of one. Juveniles leave in search of individual sites.

In captivity, lynx cubs reach sexual maturity at one year of age. In the natural habitat, everything is not so at all. Here, young animals go through a long way of growing up, the speed of which directly depends on the acquired hunting skills. Scientists are aware of cases when a female lynx, who lost her mother early, brought her offspring only at the age of five.

Spanish lynx in its natural environment can live up to thirteen years.

Lynx with cubs

Diet

Because this predator is small, its prey is not very large. The basis of the diet is the wild European rabbit, common throughout the Iberianpeninsula. Also, the diet of the Spanish lynx includes some types of birds: wild ducks, geese, partridges. Often this predator preys on rodents. In rare cases, the animal attacks young deer and fallow deer.

Two spanish lynxes

Enemies

The Iberian lynx is a predator at the top of the food chain. Thanks to this, in the wild, she has no enemies. The main and only threat to this species is man. For decades, this unique wild cat has been ruthlessly exterminated by poachers. The fur of the animal was of great value. No less harm is caused by the destruction of the natural habitat of this mammal.

Besides humans, the Spanish lynx also has a hidden enemy - diseases. Since the population is small, inbreeding causes a loss of immunity to disease. This contributes to the degeneration of the species.

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