Saving the Iberian Lynx

Portugal Makes History - Iberian Lynx

Last month, a pair of Iberian lynxes were reintroduced into the wild in Portugal. The reintroduction took place in the Guadiana Valley Natural Park, which is located in the southeastern part of the country. This is the first time the small wild cat has been released in Portugal. Several previous releases and reintroductions took place in Spain.

One of the cats came from Portugal’s Silves Conservation Center and the other from central Spain. Each cat was marked before it was released. After reintroduction, the cats are permanently monitored.

The Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) is native to the Iberian Peninsula, a 225,000 square mile area of the land that includes Spain, Portugal and Andorra, along with sub-territories of France and Britain.

Like other lynxes, the Iberian lynx has a short tail, long legs, tufted ears and fur projecting around the neck area that looks like a beard.

The cat’s preferred habitat is scrub (woody plants and small trees) and its primary prey (90%) is rabbit.

The Iberian lynx is listed as Critically Endangered by several organizations, including the IUCN.  At one point, there were less than 100 Iberian lynxes in the wild and only two breeding populations. The population decline has been caused by loss of habitat, loss of prey and disease.

Iberian lynxAccording to a recent story in The Portugal News, a National Pact for the Conservation of the Iberian Lynx was signed in 2014 with 20 land-owners, researchers and non-governmental organizations.

Two thousand hectares (approximately 5000 acres) of land were secured for the first reintroduction into Portugal, and “more negotiations are taking place to at least double the amount of land.”

In 2013, a study published in the Nature Climate Change journal concluded that even with successful reintroduction programs, the Iberian lynx may become extinct by 2050 due to climate change.

Do you think the Iberian lynx can be saved from extinction? For more information, visit SOS Lynx.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrDigg thisEmail this to someone

Muslim Leaders Issue Legal Ruling Against Wildlife Trafficking

Fatwa against trafficking - National Geographic

Indonesia’s Muslim clerical body has issued the first fatwa against wildlife trafficking. A “fatwa” is a legal opinion or ruling issued by an Islamic scholar.

“the fatwa itself is merely a call to action. Invoking passages from the Koran, the fatwa…is believed to be the first of its kind in the world.”


First Ever Fatwa Issued Against Wildlife Trafficking
National Geographic
“This fatwa is issued to give an explanation, as well as guidance, to all Muslims in Indonesia on the sharia law perspective on issues related to animal conservation,” said Hayu Prabowo, chair of the Council of Ulama’s environment and natural resources

 

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrDigg thisEmail this to someone

Pallas’s Cat Found in Nepal

pallas's cat image

While studying snow leopards, researchers from the Annapurna Area Conservation Project have photographed a Pallas’s cat. According to a report by the Himalayan News Service, fourteen pictures of the cat were taken by 11 cameras that had been set up above the village of Manang.

Manang, Nepal

Manang, Nepal – the area where the photos of the Pallas’s cat were taken.

The first 8 photos were taken in December 2012. An additional 6 images were recorded in December 2013. The images were discovered by Bikram Shrestha, program coordinator for the Snow Leopard Conservancy. The research project was conducted by the Snow Leopard Conservancy and the National Trust for Nature Conservation/Annapurna Conservation Area Project. Local students in grades 6 -8 who had received training in snow leopard monitoring, including how to install and maintain the cameras, also helped on the project.

From Shrestha’s journal:

“I received the camera trap data in November 2013 to analyze and send to Snow Leopard Conservancy-USA. The camera trap from Aangumie Lapche captured the strange species. I was surprised because it was the small size of a snow leopard cub. But no adult snow leopard was captured with it. It was also not similar to other small mammals like the leopard cat and lynx which were recorded in ACAP, so these images continued to confuse me. I sent the report to Dr. Som Ale on 26 November 2013 and our team continued studying all images in attempts to identify the species.”

You can read the report by the Snow Leopard Conservancy and see some of the images here.

The Pallas’s cat is a small wild cat that inhabits Central Asia. Although there has been some speculation that the species could be found in Nepal, this is the first time the cat has been seen in this area. In 2012, camera traps captured images of the Pallas’s cat in Bhutan’s Wangchuck Centennial Park – the first time the cat had been seen in the Eastern Himalayas. The Pallas’s cat is listed as near threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

nepal bhutan

The distance between Nepal and Bhutan.

The Annapurna Conservation Area was established in 1985, and the Annapurna Conservation Area Project was launched in 1986.

annapurna area conservation project map

The Annapurna Conservation Area in Nepal

Annapurna, a Sanskrit word usually translated as “Goddess of the Harvests,” is an area of the Himalayas in north-central Nepal. The region, which is the largest protected area in Nepal, is home to more than 102 mammals, as well as 474 birds, 39 reptiles, 22 amphibians and 1,226 species of flowing plants.

 

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrDigg thisEmail this to someone

The Endangered Fishing Cat

the fishing cat

The fishing cat is small wild cat that lives in southern Asia wetlands near streams, marshes and rivers. They are agile and excellent swimmers, and can even swim under water.

Male fishing cats weigh approximately 25 lbs., with the females weighing around 15 lbs. As for their physical appearance, they have a stocky body and short legs. Their fur is olive-gray with black stripes and spots. In addition to eating fish, the cat’s diet also includes small mammals, birds and reptiles.

The fishing cat is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The cat’s declining population is due to habitat loss. Find out about groups involved in fishing cat conservation here.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrDigg thisEmail this to someone