The Iberian lynx is the world’s most threatened species of cat, and may become the first wild cat species to go extinct for over 2,000 years. Although smaller in size, it resembles the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), possessing the same characteristically bobbed tail, tufts on the ears and jaw, a spotted coat, muscular body and long legs. European rabbits make up the mainstay of the diet of the Iberian lynx, unlike the larger Eurasian lynx that feeds mainly on ungulates such as roe deer and chamois. Small deer may be eaten on occasion, if rabbit numbers are low. A male Iberian Lynx catches one rabbit a day, whilst a breeding female will need up to 5 rabbits a day to raise her family. Captured prey is usually carried or dragged a considerable distance before being eaten, and the remains are buried.
|Estimated population size:||84 – 143 (IUCN red list), mainly restricted to two isolated populations in southern Spain.|
|Trend:||decreasing; promising results have been achieved in Portugal’s Iberian lynx breeding centre in 2011⁄2012 where 17 cubs successfully have been born and reared.|