, Volume 57, Issue 2, pp 355-362
Date: 05 Oct 2010

Estimation of the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) population in the Doñana area, SW Spain, using capture–recapture analysis of camera-trapping data

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Abstract

The Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) has a highly restricted geographic distribution, limited even within the Iberian Peninsula. The last national survey reported less than 200 remaining individuals, distributed in two isolated areas—Andújar-Cardeña and Doñana—and in consequence, the Iberian lynx was listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as “Critically Endangered”. In this study, we estimate the Iberian lynx population size in the Doñana area using capture–recapture analysis of camera-trapping data. A model with different capture probability for each individual (Mh) yielded an estimate of 26 Iberian lynxes (SE = 5.26) more than 1 year old. It is considered that a small slant in the estimation of the number of individuals could exist due to the presence of dispersers inside the study area that were not detected. Our study shows: (1) a reduction in number since the 1980s (45 individuals), and falling below the theoretical threshold of genetic viability, (2) changes in the species’ spatial distribution in this area, and (3) as for other carnivore species, photographic capture–recapture methods are applicable for estimating the size of Iberian lynx populations

Communicated by C. Gortázar