Linx Habitat

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Habitat of the Iberian lynx

The Iberian lynx is an eminently forest species and therefore it avoids the open areas and the areas without coverage. In dispersive movements of any kind, the lynx is capable of using any surface with vegetable coverage, including tree crops, no undergrowth forests and meadows. However, the species is much more selective when it has to establish itself in an area and manage a territory. For it, the Iberian lynx selects preferably areas of Mediterranean mount with abundant shelter (areas with predominance of mature bush of high freightage and/or rocky soil) and a minimum of approximately a rabbit per hectare. The mature scrub and ecotones between scrubland and pastures density they have showed to be determinant factors in the selection of the habitat of the species, and its plenty is inversely related to the size of the lynxes’ territory. This type of landscape’s structure is probably the type of habitat preferably selected by the rabbit in the forestal zones, and it also offers the Lynx refuge and provides them an easy capture of rabbits. When it is simultaneous a habitat of these characteristics with a high rabbits availability the size of the territory of the Iberian lynx can be lower than 300 Ha. When this type of ecosystem is not available the Iberian lynxes can occupy areas with worse quality forest coverage (less scrub thickness) if they have enough preys, although under these circumstances the territories usually range between the 1.000 and the 2.000 Ha. For this reason, forests formations with low density of scrubland have a significantly lower load capacity for the lynx than the best areas with plenty of refuges.


Ideal environmental structure for the Iberian lynx, with plenty of mature bushes of high freightage (principally lenticels) and ecotones between scrubland and grassland. The woodland consisted of holm oaks, is of low freightage and less abundant than the bush. 


Rocky places and rocky areas, like these of Sierra Morena, offer a high quality refuge for the Iberian lynx, therefore the needs for bush in these areas are not so high as in areas lacking in these structures.


The plantations of pine, with little undergrowth, like in the photo, present a bad quality environment for the rabbits and Lynx’ habitat. Although they can be marginally used by exemplary residents, they do not allow the establishment of territories if they do not have patches of a better quality habitat. For it, the capacity of loading of lynxes in these habitats (environments) is significantly less than that of the areas of mature Mediterranean bush.


The pastures (farms) cannot lodge themselves territories of Iberian lynx, unless they are mixed by bush areas and/or roquedos of interior they offer refuge to the lynx.


Management of the Mediterranean mount favourable to the Iberian lynx

In general and despite being a key piece of the Mediterranean mount, in the forest managing it usually obviate the scrub. A favourable forest management to the Iberian lynx it is that that chases the creation of masses of Mediterranean mount with diversity of species, with plenty of scrubland species and plenty of ecotones between scrubland and prairie. The arboreal species would go on to a background since the surface that these were occupying should not be superior to 40 % of the occupied one by the bush. For all this, the favourable forest management to the Iberian lynx will be different depending on the starting position.


The monospecific arboreal plantations, although they are of indigenous species, are not favourable for the Iberian lynx. There be observed the plantation of cork oaks of the photo in which the bush is eliminated systematically, preventing the regeneration of the ecosystem.


In plantations of young pines that preserve the original bush, like this one of Doñana, the clear cutting of the pine grove can prevent from getting lost definitely the bush.