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Iberian Lynx born in wild in Portugal for the first time in decades

A red-letter moment for conservationists battling to save the Iberian Lynx from extinction is being celebrated this week as the first litter to be born in the wild has been identified in the wilds around Mértola.

For now, only one cub has been photographed. Whether there are others is what staff at the ICNF (nature conservation institute) will be endeavouring to find out.

Lynxes habitually give birth in March and April, with an average litter size of three “with rarely more than two surviving weaning”, explains World Wildlife Facts.

The cub photographed this week has been confirmed as “around 45 days old” and was clocked in the Herdade das Romeiras reserve in Mértola where mother Jacarandá was released 17 months ago (precise date: December 16 2014).

According to a statement by the ICNF, the cub’s father is Katmandú, also released into the reserve, but a couple of months later (February 1, 2015).

Jacarandá was born at the Silves national centre, powering the return of Iberian Lynx into the wild.

The ICNF statement said it wanted to take this latest achievement “to recognise the work of landowners and managers who have collaborated with Programme LIFE+Iberlince, namely Herdade das Romeiras, honoured this year with the Iberian Lynx Conservation Prize, in Seville, by Programa LIFE+Iberlince”.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com