Iberian Lynx in Córdoba

Andalucia's most endangered citizens, the Iberian Lynx, are not without their staunch supporters. In fact, mid-November saw 200 experts from various countries meeting in Huelva to discuss the situation of this valued native to the Penninsula. Thanks to work by governments and activists, the Iberian Lynx has managed to reproduce successfully in captivity and now we're ready for the next step - release into the wild as of 2009. Córdoba province's Sierra Morena has been chosen for this first experiment in reuinting the lynx with nature. The lynx is going to get a lot of help and support as it makes its way back into the mountains of southern Spain. Experts plan to release them into an enclosed area spanning 4 to 6 hectometers and they will only gradually have to get used to fending for themselves and finding food. What's more, the first three pairs released in 2009 can expect no privacy - they'll be under high tech surveillance. In spite of all these measures, authorities are already warning that those in charge of this "freedom programme" expect a high mortality rate as the animals struggle to overcome the handicap of being born and raised in captivity. And in the end, we almost need to ask ourselves who is helping who in this project. Experts have pointed out that one of the big obstacles to the success of the Iberian Lynx's return to its natural setting is a lack of co-ordination on the part of government officials between Spanish regions and also between Spain and Portugal. They have, therefore, called on governments to make a bigger effort to work together as one united team. Therefore, while it seems we humans are helping this little wild cat to learn to survive, perhaps just as importantly, the lynx is helping humans learn to work together in peace and harmony for an effective solution.
Blog published on 20 November 2008