Algarve to welcome first Iberian lynx in May

Portugal’s first Iberian Lynx reproduction centre at the Herdade das Santinhas in Silves is set to receive its first cubs before the summer.

According to a spokesman from Águas do Algarve, they are expected to arrive in the middle of May from the Doñana Natural Park in Andalucía, Spain.Three lynx cubs were born this month in the Acebuche Centre in Doñana Natural Park.

Saliega, a female lynx from Sierra Morena, was the first lynx to breed in captivity when the breeding programme started there in 2005 and has since given birth to 13 cubs.

This is her fifth litter and her first mixed litter as she paired with male lynx Almoradux from Doñana.

The birth of a mixed litter is of huge importance to the survival of the Iberian lynx due to the genetic diversity the cubs have.

It is hoped that by 2015 there will be a large enough population of lynx from the breeding centres in Spain and Portugal to allow a population to be re-introduced into a prepared habitat in the wild.

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