More lynxes in Silves.jpg

More lynxes in Silves

By ELOISE WALTON [email protected]

Two new Iberian Lynxes were welcomed to the specially built reproduction centre at Herdade das Santinhas in Silves on October 31.

Daman, a male lynx born in 2007, and Érica, a one-year old female, were transferred to their new home in the Algarve from the La Olivilla reproduction centre in Jaen, Andalucía, to join Azahar, who was the first of her kind to arrive in Silves on October 25.

A further two Iberian Lynxes, called Espiga and Era, were also due to arrive on the same day, but their transport was delayed and their arrival is expected to take place after the Algarve Resident went to press on  Wednesday.

A spokesman from the national institute of conservation and biodiversity (ICNB) said: “The arrival of the other two females was delayed for the near future because of the long time it took to get them to enter their transport boxes. This difficulty in capturing the animals is because of the aim to minimise the additional agitation in all phases of the transfer process between the reproduction centres.”

The two lynxes who did arrive at the centre, however, were “adapting to their space with tranquillity” according to the ICNB.

“They have already explored all of the space in their enclosures and took around half an hour to kill and eat a rabbit that was given to each one.”

It is expected that the remaining 13 Iberian Lynxes that are to be handed over from Spain to Portugal will arrive by the end of the year. There are currently believed to be 250 Iberian Lynxes left in the wild and 74 in reproduction centres.

Since the 1980s there has not been any stable lynx population found in Portugal, although faeces were found in 2000 which points to their presence in the country.