Two decades ago, the Iberian lynx, a unique wildcat native to Spain and Portugal, faced severe threats to survival. Habitat loss, declining rabbit numbers (its main food source), and human activities pushed the species to near extinction. By 2001, only 62 adult lynxes remained. Urgent actions such as breeding programs, habitat restoration, and protection efforts were implemented. Recently, the IUCN reclassified the Iberian lynx from endangered to vulnerable, reflecting significant recovery efforts involving governments, NGOs, scientists, businesses, and local communities. Today, over 2,000 lynxes inhabit nature reserves in southern Spain and Portugal, a stark recovery from their critically low numbers two decades ago.

The lynx population recovery heavily depended on rebuilding the rabbit population, which suffered due to habitat loss and human impact. Conservation initiatives tackled challenges like poaching and road accidents through community involvement and educational campaigns. Successful reintroduction programs expanded the lynx’s territory by 3,320 square kilometers. However, ongoing challenges persist; the lynx’s future hinges on the stability of its prey, particularly rabbits vulnerable to environmental changes and diseases. Climate change introduces new risks like wildfires that disrupt habitats and prey availability. To ensure the lynx’s long-term survival, continuous monitoring and adaptive management are crucial. These measures track population trends, address emerging threats, and adjust conservation strategies as needed. Sustaining progress requires ongoing community engagement and international cooperation to secure a stable future for this iconic species.