Portugal’s Institute of Nature Conservation and Forests (ICNF) has confirmed that at least ten Iberian lynx pups have been born to three females resident in the Guadiana Valley.
“The Iberian lynx population of the Guadiana Valley continues to increase and, after the current release season has ended, it is time to detect those cubs born in 2019. It is anticipated that 12 females may have reproduced,” the institute’s statement reads.
The ten pups already observed appear to be in, “good physical condition” and at the end of May were about two months old.
Lagunilla, a female released in 2015, originally from the breeding center of Granadilla, Spain and currently 5-years-old, gave birth to two cubs, this being her fourth litter.
Nairobi, a 3-year-old wild female who came over from the Doñana park’s lynx population in 2017, has had her first litter, a total of three pups.
Finally, Lluvia, a 5-year-old female, released in 2015 and also from the centre of Granadilla, was filmed with her second litter, of five cubs.
“The fact that all the lynx cubs are alive at two months of age and already are out and about with their mothers, reflects the good quality of the reintroduction zone, especially regarding the abundance of prey but also of the great capacity demonstrated by the females to care for their offspring,” states the ICNF.
Predictions point to about 30 births in the Guadiana Valley for 2019, which translates into a “slight increase” compared to the previous year.
The Guadiana Valley Natural Park is a protected area of ??69,700 hectares, located in the southeast of Portugal, covering the counties of Mértola and Serpa.