Today is my birthday (I actually forgot until my family called me this morning at midnight) so I wanted to share some of my favourite animals <3
My #1 fav is the Iberian Lynx
The Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) is the world’s most threatened species of cat (2), and is currently teetering on the brink of extinction (1). A medium-sized species, it is smaller than the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), with which it shares a characteristically bobbed tail, spotted coat, muscular body and long legs (3). The relatively short, coarse fur is bright yellowish-red to tawny in colour, overlaid with brown or black spots, and the underparts are white. The male Iberian lynx is larger than the female, and both possess prominent whiskers on the face and long, erect tufts of black hair on the tips of the ears (2) (3).
Iberian lynx are generally nocturnal creatures, with peak activity occurring at twilight when individuals leave shelter in order to forage (3). Both sexes are solitary and territorial, with male territories overlapping those of several females (3). Females reach sexual maturity at one year of age but will only breed once they are in possession of their own territory (5). The mating season peaks at the beginning of the year in January and February and births occur two months later (3). The female cares for her litter of one to four kittens (3) within a lair that may be located under a thicket or in a hollow tree. Weaning occurs at around eight months but juveniles tend to stay in their natal territory until they are around 20 months old (5). European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) make up the mainstay of the diet of the Iberian lynx, unlike the larger Eurasian lynx that feeds mainly on ungulates such as roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) and chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra) (2). Small deer may be eaten on occasion, if rabbit numbers are low (5).
Historically widespread throughout the Iberian peninsula and the south of France (2). By the mid 1990s, small and severely fragmented populations were found only in diminishing areas of suitable habitat in central and south-western parts of Spain, and in fragmented areas of Portugal. Currently, there are about 170 individuals in only two isolated reproductive populations located in the Spanish Autonomic region of Andaluzia: Doñana and Andujár-Cardeña (5).
The Iberian lynx is found in Mediterranean woodland and marquis habitat (a scrub-like habitat of open forests and thickets), where there is a mixture of dense scrub and open pasture (5).
source for photos and text