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Spanish Lynx

Spanish Lynx
Scientific Classification
Binomial name
Lynx pardinus
The Spanish Lynx (Lynx pardinus, sometimes Felis pardina) or Iberian Lynx is sometimes classified as a subspecies of the Eurasian Lynx, but most authorities regard it as a separate species. While the Eurasian Lynx bears rather pallid markings, the Spanish Lynx has distinctive, leopard-like spots. It is furthermore smaller than its northern relative and hence hardly able to hunt animals larger than hares. However, when hungry, the Spanish Lynx may attack young deer or mouflons.

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 critically endangered and one of the rarest cat species. There are about 1000 individuals, some of them in tiny reservations. 50 lynxes live in Portugal, the remaining populations in Spain. The largest lynx population is located in the Coto Doņana National Park. Lynxes are protected and not hunted anymore, but they are still endangered, mainly due to the decimation of hares and rabbits by myxomatosis.