This post is part of a Dodo series focused on endangered species. Go to racingextinction.com to learn about an upcoming film on threatened animals and an event sponsored in part by The Dodo.
The Iberian lynx is a lovely and majestic creature to behold, with its tufty ears and fuzzy paws and piercing eyes. Many are unaware that this particular lynx, however, holds a rather unpleasant superlative. It is considered to be the most threatened species of cat in the modern world.
There are only 1,000 remaining in the wild, with only two known breeding populations remaining. Education about these wild cats is crucial, as they teeter on the verge of extinction.
1. They're hungry, and it's increasingly slim pickings.
The main staple of the Iberian lynx diet is the rabbit. However, rabbit populations in the Iberian lynx's isolated Spanish habitat have been increasingly declining over the past fifty years due to disease. In the 1950s myxomatosis caused a major drop in rabbit populations, and Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD) in the late 1980s continued this trend. These diseases have left the lynxes with scant food sources.