The females Tova and Turma and the males Tilo and Tinajero have already arrived in the enclosed area of Tierras Altas of Lorca.
This Monday morning, the Community completed the soft release phase of the Iberian lynx with the introduction into the acclimatisation enclosure of four new specimens, three of them from the breeding centre of Zarza de Granadilla (Cáceres) and a fourth from the breeding centre of La Olivilla, in Santa Elena (Jaén). They are two females, Tova and Turma, and two males, Tilo and Tinajero.
The President of the Regional Government in functions, Fernando López Miras, has participated in the release carried out in the environment of the Highlands of Lorca, and stressed that “there is no better way to celebrate this June 5, World Environment Day, than taking this new step for the reintroduction of the Iberian lynx in the Region. It is a very emotional and very special moment”.
López Miras recalled that in the first phase, these four lynxes will spend a few weeks in an area of acclimatisation to the environment, during which they will begin to hunt. Once these weeks have passed, they will be released into total freedom, as was the case with the first four specimens, according to sources from the regional government in a press release.
The Region of Murcia now has eight specimens of Iberian lynx, four males and four females, and according to López Miras, “the objective is to have a population nucleus large enough to carry out this repopulation of the Iberian lynx in our territory”.
“That core population would be around fifteen breeding females and as many males, and I think we are on that path. It is a source of great pride that the Region of Murcia is a leading territory in the reintroduction of the Iberian lynx,” he said.
As for the four lynx that arrived in the Region of Murcia last March and are now in the wild, they are completing the reintroduction protocol, and GPS tracking of them is marking their movements.
WORK DURING JUNE
During the month of June, the Community will carry out rabbit abundance sampling to determine the volume of rabbits in the reintroduction area. It is also planned to study possible solutions in dangerous stretches of roads that cross the area.
In addition to this, communication and awareness-raising work on the Iberian lynx will be carried out in educational centres and will soon be extended to urban areas (Lorca, Totana, Murcia and Cartagena).
The Life Lynxconnect project ‘Creation of a genetically and demographically functional Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) metapopulation (2020-2025)’ is the fourth Life project approved by the European Commission for the conservation of the Iberian lynx. Its development is due to the success of the Life Iberlince project ‘Recovery of the historical distribution of the Iberian lynx in Spain and Portugal (2012-2018)’. It was in this initiative that the Region of Murcia joined the task of recovering the lynx in the peninsula.
Life Lynxconnect is a transnational cooperation programme covering the entire range of the species, involving environmental and road administrations from two countries and four autonomous communities (Spain, Portugal, Andalusia, Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura and the Region of Murcia); NGOs from the environmental sector (Adenex, WWF-Spain and Fundación CBD-Hábitat); representatives of the hunting sector, Fundación Artemisam, private companies and with the scientific support of the the Spanish National Research Council (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas-Estación Biológica de Doñana).