Seventeen Iberian Lynx cubs were born this year at the national reproduction centre in Silves, which now boasts the highest success rate in Portugal and Spain for the reproduction and survival of this critically endangered species.
One of the lynx, named Fruta, bore five cubs in one litter alone.
The animals are healthy and will be kept in the care of the centre (Centro Nacional de Reprodução em Cativeiro para o Lince Ibérico) until they are ready to be released into the wild in Spain.
This year a total of 53 lynx were born in captivity in Portugal and Spain, but only 44 survived.
These efforts are part of the Iberian project LIFE Iberlince (2011-2016) which aims to prevent the lynx’s extinction and strengthen the population of these wildcats.
They are the most endangered feline species in the world, with only 298 living specimens, and are also on the International Union for Conservation of Nature red list of threatened species.