Known only to breed in areas of Mediterranean scrub and pasture with high rabbit populations, the Iberian lynx once roamed throughout all regions of Spain and Portugal. Serious population decline began in 19th century, mainly due to rabbit epidemics and loss of habitat and reached alarming levels towards the end of the 20th century. Despite a ban on trophy hunting in the early 1970s, the pockets of land where lynx were recorded dropped from twelve populations in 1988 to only two populations in Spain in 2009.
It is highly likely that these days there would not be a single Iberian lynx left in the world had intensive conservation action not been taken sixteen years ago, when its future existence hung so precariously in the balance. Launched in 2001, there is no doubt that significant successes have been made through the EU LIFE project attempting to save the lynx. Since then the population in the wild has risen nearly tenfold from the 52 individuals counted in 2002 and in 2016 483 individuals were counted living in the wild
The main lynx stronghold sits in the foothills of the Sierra Morena mountains, just outside Andujar and Cardeña. Hardly a stone’s throw from the Costa Del Sol, the region that attracts the majority of the eight million foreign tourists who visit Andalucia each year, and yet you would be surprised at how few visitors have even heard of this iconic creature.
For the past 4 years Luke has visited the Sierra Morena to spot these beautiful cats, and he just can't keep away. After a very successful 2018 trip with 9 individual lynx being spotted, he will be returning in January 2020. If you are interested in a trip to lynx land to track down this incredible cat please get in touch here.