The Iberian lynx needs your help. Just a few years ago there were less than one hundred of these previous animals in the wild. Now, due to the hard work by reproduction programmes in Spain and Portugal, there are just over 500 individuals running wild. Sadly, however, many lynxes are dying once released into the wild meaning their existence is still very, very fragile. Our project will help improve the survival chances of lynxes that are released into the wild from captivity.
Imagine this: the Iberian lynx has already recovered to the point that it is not longer a critically endangered species but the population still cannot recover because so many individuals are dying out in the wild. The main cause: road collisions. The poor Iberian lynx has lost its habitat to roads, developments and greenhouses. We need to help Europe's most endangered felid get out of the danger zone.
While we cannot remove all the roads and traffic from the Iberian lynxes' natural habitats, what we can do is use our scientific expertise improve their chances of survival. Our principal investigator, Yulan Ubeda, has many years of experience in the study of personality animals. We want to use this knowledge to see if selecting release candidates based on their personality traits can reduce the number of deaths after the lynxes are released into the wild.
The wonderful thing about this research is that we will be able to see the results of our study within one year. In comparison to other options such as securing new release environments, we can make a huge difference in a very limited amount of time.