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.

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Jaguars Seduced by Calvin Klein “Obsession for Men” Cologne

calvin klein obsession for men

According to a recent article in Scientific American, the best way to lure a jaguar to a camera trap is by spraying the surrounding tree branches with Calvin Klein’s “Obsession for Men” cologne.

The camera traps are used to take photos of the jaguars and collect research data. When a jaguar approaches the trap, infrared sensors trigger the camera.

“Obsession for Men” is described by the manufacturer as a “masculine blend of botanics, spices and rare woods.” One of the scent’s main ingredients is civetone, which is produced from the glands of civets.

The civet, a nocturnal cat-like mammal with raccoon facial features, lives in the tropical forests of Asia and Africa. There are over a dozen different civet species. The civet Viverra civettina is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

civet

The animal’s gland secretions have been used to make perfume for hundreds of years. However, the number of perfumes containing civetone has been on the decline since the development of synthetic musk. Channel No. 5 stopped using civet in their perfumes in 1998.

The procedure for removing the secretion, which is extracted every two to three weeks from a sac under the civet’s tail, is extremely painful.

In 2004, the Chinese government killed over 10,000 civet cats in captivity when a man became ill from a new strain of the SARS virus that was similar to the SARS virus found in civets.

In addition to the use of glandular sections to manufacture perfume, civets are also killed for their meat, which is considered a delicacy in Asia.

A coffee made in Vietnam and the Philippines is produced from coffee cherries that have been partially digested by civets. A 2012 investigation found civets being force-fed the cherries and living in horrific conditions.

Are you or someone you know using perfume or cologne with civetone? You may want to start shopping for another product. Check the bottle’s ingredients to find out.

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Lion and Tiger Corridors in India

national - geo - leopard-philly-zoo

An article from National Geographic on the importance of lion and tiger corridors in India.

“Every day, little by little, our species is creating new islands. These are not islands in the sea. They are patches of forest, grassland, mountainside, and swamp that encompass what remains of the wild. Unlike islands dotted across the sea, though, there are sometimes pathways between these protected swaths that permit organisms to traverse the small percentage of their range that remains open to habitation. In the case of central India’s tigers and leopards, these wildlife corridors are critical for survival.”

You can read the entire story here.

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