Another lynx discovered dead, this time in Mértola

Another lynx bred in captivity and subsequently released into the wild has been found dead, this time in Mértola.

Mistral was born in a Spanish reproduction centre supporting the LIFE+Iberlince programme ongoing in collaboration with Portugal.

He spent two years running free before his body was found on the EN 122, not far from where another male lynx (Olmo) died early last year.

Everything points to Mistral having been run over though no driver has called the incident in.

Road traffic accidents are constant threat to lynx and other wild animals, and this particular spot is particularly ‘dangerous’.

News of Mistral’s death came days after another lynx was found dead – this time in Spain – the presumed victim of hunters.

There were over 300 lead pellets found in Marvel’s body (photo above). Spanish police are said to be investigating.

But despite these deaths and others through 2018 (two by drowning, a third as a result of being run over near Olhão), the survival rate of Iberian Lynx released as part of project LIFE+Iberlince is around 75%, and considered high.

At the same time, reproduction among liberated pairs has been very successful, with a total of 29 cubs from 11 “stable reproductive females” now living in areas of reintroduction along the Guadiana valley.

Everything points to a “viable long-term population” growing steadily, said a source for the forestry institute ICNF, crediting sustainable management of territory, the abundance of the lynx’s favourite food (wild rabbit) and “a favourable attitude” by populations”.

The source added that the ICNF is “preparing a new candidature to the LIFE programme, in collaboration with other partners in Portugal which hopes, among other actions to minimise mortality on the roads”.