First Lynx arrives in Silves.jpg

First Lynx arrives in Silves

By ELOISE WALTON [email protected]

The first of 16 Iberian lynxes to make the Silves Iberian Lynx Reproduction Centre their new home arrived from Spain to the newly inaugurated centre on Monday.

Azahar, a female, was transported in a special box and was monitored by a veterinarian throughout her journey from the Jerez de la Frontera zoo in Spain to the Algarve.

Upon release in her new home, Azahar was agitated and showed signs of stress, including attempting to escape by climbing the fences of her enclosure, which technicians said was normal behaviour until she adapts to her surroundings.

Power lines may be moved due to lynx. Photo: LUSA.
Power lines may be moved due to lynx. Photo: LUSA.

According to the Instituto da Conservação da Natureza e da Biodiversidade (ICNB), the national institute of nature conservation and biodiversity, the remaining 15 Iberian lynxes are due to arrive at the centre in November from Spanish reproduction centres in Acebuche, La Olivilla and the Doñana national park.

The Silves Iberian Lynx Centre, the first of its kind in the country, includes a quarantine area, a rehabilitation centre, a veterinary surgery and laboratory.

A sophisticated CCTV system has been installed at the centre, which includes 80 cameras and an office to coordinate the cameras and footage.  

This system will allow scientists and researchers to observe the species with minimum human contact, allowing the animals to one day be released into the wild while still retaining a natural fear of people. It is for this reason that the centre will not be open to the public.  

For more information about the Iberian Lynx Reproduction Centre in Silves, please visit the website, partly available in English, at or available in Portuguese only.