Photo of Saliega and Aura via Kalipedia.
If I didn't read TreeHugger faithfully each day, I wouldn't have known the endangered Iberian lynx was in such terrible trouble, and the recent hit-and-run death of a pregnant lynx had the power to drop the global population of this whisker-jawed feline by more than one percent. But since I did know that, it seems only right to spread some good news. Another pregnant mama, named Saliega, successfully gave birth to triplets in captivity yesterday. These are the first three Iberian lynxes to be born in 2009, at Spain's Doñana El Acebuche nature park. Keep reading for a link to an adorable photo of one of the kittens. It's the fifth time around for Saliega
This is the fifth time the fertile Saliega has added to the much-dwindled Iberian lynx population - she alone is responsible for 13 pups. Her partner Almorodux is two years younger than she is and the only lynx that was born in the wild and is now living in Acebuche's captivity program, which aims to strengthen the genetic line of lynxes before turning them back to different protected areas.
One of Saliega's daughters is due to give birth in the next few days. Saliega's three new kittens (here's a photo of a lynx kitten) bring the total number of lynxes both born and surviving in captivity to 27. But the struggle of the Iberian lynx to avoid extinction is far from over. One of the goals of the program is to get the mother lynxes to more carefully care for their offspring and help bring them succesfully to adulthood.
A hare and habitat problem
The Iberian lynx, similar in features to a bobcat, hunts hares, and the decline in Spain and Portugal of rabbit and hare populations has had dire consequences to the lynx. In addition, a big threat to the lynx is getting hit by cars traveling newly paved road around the national parks like Doñana. The Iberian lynx is the most critically endangered feline, and the most threatened carnivore in Europe. Starting this year the plan is to reintroduce lynxes from Saliega's and other litters back into protected habitats. Current population: around 150-200...plus three! The sex of the new kittens is not yet reported. Via: Ecoticias
Read more about the Iberian lynx and endangered species
1.5% Decline in Iberian Lynx Population
10 Endangered Animals Which Aren't in the Spotlight, But Should Be (Slideshow)
One in Six European Mammals Faces Extinction