The ex situ conservation program of the Iberian lynx has established 26 breeding pairs for the 2020 season of which, taking into account the reproductive parameters recorded in the program to date, it is expected to obtain between 37 and 45 puppies.
The establishment of these couples, as the program has informed in a statement, has been carried out taking into account both the facilities available in the five breeding centers spread throughout the Iberian Peninsula and the needs of animals to be released in the different reintroduction areas .
The proposed couples respond to a careful genetic management with the objective of guaranteeing the greatest diversity and genetic variability of the resulting litters, taking into account both the needs of the breeding program and those of the different reintroduction zones.
Of the 26 females paired this year, two are first-time and, therefore, more likely to have problems during pregnancy or lactation, such as Omeya in Zarza de Granadilla and Mochuela in La Olivilla, which should be added three females that, although they are not new, have not yet taken any litter forward, as is the case of Macadamia, Nala and Nota in El Acebuche.
Also, this season there are six females over 13 years old (Biznaga, Ceniza, Córdoba, Coscoja, Caña and Cynara) that will provide valuable information for the management of the breeding program on the reproductive longevity of this species.
With 26 breeding pairs constituted and taking into account the reproductive parameters registered in the breeding program to date (2005-2019), it is estimated to obtain a figure between 37 and 45 puppies, although according to the data of the last seasons breeders, this figure is likely to be closer to the forty-five puppies that come to survive weaning.
As has happened in previous breeding seasons, most of the specimens born in 2020, around 90%, will be prepared for release in the natural environment and the rest will become part of the reproductive reserve of the program of breeding with the objective of maintaining an adequate genetic diversity and an adequate demographic balance.