, Volume 55, Issue 3, pp 247-253
Date: 02 Dec 2008

Status survey of the critically endangered Iberian lynx Lynx pardinus in Portugal

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A survey of the Iberian lynx was conducted in Portugal between January 2002 and November 2003 in order to define lynx status and distribution baselines. Intensive search for lynx scats, scat DNA analysis, and camera trapping were used in areas of potential lynx presence. Over 4,200 km were investigated during a global searching effort of 1,975 man-hours. DNA obtained from 168 scats was analyzed, producing no positive lynx amplifications. Camera trapping represented a total effort of 5,647 camera-days in three potential lynx areas, producing no positive detections. Although results cannot confirm the species’ extinction, the scenario is rather pessimistic and the Iberian lynx is probably no longer present in Portugal. Presently, considering the Portuguese lynx’s historical range, the only significantly suitable areas for the species are located in the southeastern part of the country bordering Andalusia where no recent evidence of lynx presence was recorded.

Communicated by W. Lutz.