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Project Lynx Life “Actuations for the conservation of the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardina)” (1994-1999)

This was one of the first Life projects for the conservation of the Iberian lynx in Spain involving the autonomous communities in which exists a presence of the lynx. The responsible for the execution and beneficiaries of financial support were: the Community of Madrid, Environment Agency; Superior Council of Scientific Research (CSIC) ; Biological Station of Doñana; Ministry of Agriculture, Fishing and Food - General Secretary of Rural development and Nature conservation; Committee of Andalucía, Environmental Agency; Committee of Castilla y León, Department of Environment and Spatial Planning; Committee of Communities of Castilla-la Mancha, department of Agriculture and Environment, and the Committee of Extremadura, Environmental Agency.

The actions were focused on the surveillance and monitoring of the Lynx’s areas, to improve the knowledge of the Lynx’s populations, and their risks and threats. As well as controlling and preventing their non-natural mortality.

At the end of 1996 began the Awareness Campaign "To live with the Lynx" and the calls of school contests of drawing and writing. A Pupil’s Notebook was designed a triptych directed to hunters, posters, stickers and a travelling exhibition in a bus.


Project Lynx Life “Recovery of the Iberian lynx populations (Lynx pardinus) in Andalucía” (2002-2006)

In 2002 the Project Life “Recovery of the populations of Iberian lynx in Andalusia” was approved. Then it had been estimated that there were fewer than 200 Iberian lynxes in the world, distributed in two main populations, the first in Doñana (Huelva and Seville) and the other in Sierra Morena (Córdoba and Jaen).

With a budget of 9.285.714 Euros, of which the European Union provided the 42%, that meant a very significant milestone in the conservation of the species, this project joined as partners to the CBD Habitat Foundation, ecologists in action, Andalusia’s Hunting Federation and Aproca, Ateca.

The main objective of this project was to stabilize the populations of Iberian lynx in Andalusia, ensuring the long-term viability of the two existing populations.

The Ministry for the Environment, as the beneficiary of the Life Project promoted a series of initiatives that were directed to the recovery of the natural habitat of the Iberian lynx, to minimize the deaths provoked by un-natural reasons and to make a monitoring and a study of the evolution of populations of lynx and rabbit.

After the ending of this project, there has been obtained a minimal increase of 49 % in the number of specimens and 25-32 % of the number of territories, increasing the surface area of distribution of the species in 73%. This evolution is directly related to all actions carried out for the improvement of the habitat, improvement of prey’s populations, actions to eliminate non-natural mortality, monitoring, etc. executed during the same, reflected in an increase in the birth rate and in the reduction of non-natural mortality of the species.

Given that the majority of the lynx’s population was in private farms and in lands that were managed by companies of hunters, it was necessary to establish a way to work with private property, and this was achieved through Collaboration Agreements.

It was developed a programme of dissemination and awareness that will facilitate the understanding of the situation in which the Iberian lynx was and that deleted some of their threats, mainly the illegal placement of arts: leghold traps and ties.

Finished the project they obtained the following results:


 Evolution of the lynx population 


This project achieves in the 2007s call the award 'Best of the Best' awarded to the top 5 projects throughout the European Union. 


Project Lynx Life “conservation and reintroduction of the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) in Andalucía”

Finished the previous project, was initiated in 2006 a new life project titled "Conservation and reintroduction of the Iberian lynx in Andalusia", LIFE06NAT/E/000209 (2006-2011), with a budget of €25.971.489, of which the EU contributed 38%.

In the framework of this new Life project, they carried out a package of measures to respond to the major problems that were affecting the Iberian lynx. Some of these actions were realized to reduce the non-natural mortality causes as the permeabilization of some routes to prevent the running outs (with the wildlife crossings built by the Regional Ministry of Public Works and Housing of the Junta de Andalucía, that serve to permeabilise the road that crosses one of the most important natural areas of Europe, Doñana), or the deaths caused by poaching, shots, ties and leg hold traps, which are beginning to decrease.

This new initiative brought together as partners different sectors of the society. This way, for the hunting sector participated the Andalusia’s hunting Federation, APROCA and ATECA; for the conservationist sector, Ecologists in Action, Adena/WWF, Foundation CBD Habitat (Environment) and SECEM and by the Administration, the Committee of Extremadura and the Committee of Andalucía with the ministries of agriculture and fishing, public works and transport and environment; also with the participation of the Ministry of Environment as co-financer.

With this second Life Project was given a qualitative leap with the inclusion of two new performances, the reintroduction of the Lynx in some of its historical areas of distribution in Andalucía with the creation of two new centres of population: the first one in Guadalmellato (Córdoba) in 2009 (with the reintroduction of 7 specimens); and other, later in 2010, in Guarrizas (Jaén) (with 5 reintroduced specimens). Also, performances of genetic reinforcement were carried out in the Doñana population by the translocation of individuals from Sierra Morena.

Support from private owners and societies of hunters are still evident, as it already was in the first LIFE. At the end of the Lynx Life Project "Conservation and reintroduction of the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) in Andalusia" there have been achieved 170 collaboration agreements, that is translated into an availability to execute actions to improve the habitat for the Iberian lynx and for the rabbit on a surface of 180.840 has.

The ultimate goal was to reduce the risk of extinction of the species by increasing both population size and the number of populations.

In 2012 the European Union attaches the award 'Best of the Best' to the project.

The work developed in the two projects Lynx LIFE has allowed the species to go out of a pre-extinction scenario, starting from 94 individuals in 2002 and moving to 326 and divided in four populations: Doñana-Aljarafe (Huelva) Guadalmellato Guarrizas (Córdoba) (Jaén) and Andújar-Cardeña (Jaen-Córdoba) with an acceptable Exchange of individuals.

More information on Layman report 2006 - 2011.