Two lynxes, mother and daughter, jointly raise their cubs

Lynx cubs. / wwf

This behavior, which had not been documented until now among these felines, has been recorded with remote cameras on a farm in Ciudad Real

JML Real city

"Odrina" and "Queen" are two female lynxes. Odrina was born in freedom in 2017 in Sierra Morena and in one of her litters she gave birth to Queen. Now, both have had cubs, three each, and have decided to raise them together, a behavior hitherto unknown among lynxes and which has been recorded with remote cameras at the Peñalajo estate, in Almuradiel, a town located south of the province of Ciudad Real, thanks to the company «Wildwatching Spain» in collaboration with the owners of the farm and the environmental organization WWF.

Odrina is also the daughter of Mesta, one of the females born in the captive breeding program and released in Ciudad Real so that "the lynx reconquers its lost territories," according to WWF. Odrina now cares for her children and grandchildren together with one of her daughters, care that is recorded within a new observation project that is part of the Life Iberlince Project in which the Ministry of Sustainable Development of Castilla-La collaborates. Stain.

From this department they are also surprised that mother and daughter "have decided to share an abandoned building on the farm to jointly raise their six puppies." A "cooperative breeding" whose protagonist is Odrina, who has "the honor of being the first female born in freedom who has also raised in freedom on the same farm," they explain from WWF.

In danger of extinction

Although the lynx remains a threatened species, environmentalists believe that, although its survival remains uncertain, it has moved back from the brink of extinction. In fact, according to the latest data from the Ministry for the Ecological Transition, from 2021, the Iberian lynx population in the Iberian Peninsula is 1,365 individuals, between adults, subadults and cubs. It is the best data recorded in Iberian populations of the species and represents an increase of 23 percent compared to the last census of 2020.

According to the latest annual report of the lynx working group coordinated by this ministry, of the 13 population centers registered in the Iberian Peninsula, 12 are in Spain, with 1,156 individuals. Of these 12 nuclei, 5 are located in Andalusia -with 519 individuals-, 3 in Castilla-La Mancha -with 473 individuals- and 4 in Extremadura -with 164 lynxes-.

Regarding the birth rate, in 2021 there were 500 births of 277 breeding females, with global productivity -understood as the number of puppies born per female- of 1.8 in Spain and 2.3 in Portugal-. In addition, within Spain, the highest ratio of puppies per female occurs in Castilla-La Mancha: 2.4.

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