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The Iberian lynx Posted by on Oct 22, 2010 in Spanish Culture

De pequeña siempre quise tener uno. De mayor también, aunque comprendí que sería complicado, así que tuve que conformarme con mi gatita. Pero siempre me fascinó la elegante belleza de nuestro felino por excelencia: el lince ibérico.

Animal que por desgracia, se encuentra al borde de la extinción hoy día. El lince es un carnívoro, de aspecto muy similar al de un gato, aunque de mayor tamaño. Tiene tres rasgos característicos: cola corta, con una borla negra en su extremo, usada con sus movimientos para mostrar tanto el peligro como la excitación; pelo negro similar a pinceles rematando sus orejas puntiagudas, y patillas que sobresalen de su rostro. Su pelaje moteado va del pardo al grisáceo.

Es un animal nómada, nocturno y solitario: solo se socializa durante la época de celo, en los primeros meses del año. Las camadas suelen ser de entre 2 y 4 cachorros. Aunque en invierno tienen actividad durante todo el día, en cuanto suben las temperaturas, suelen mantenerse ocultos hasta el crepúsculo. Cazador ágil, se alimenta principalmente de conejos y liebres, aunque también disfruta con cualquier pequeño mamífero, perdices y otras aves.

Este felino, que antes era considerado una alimaña, y muy apreciado por su piel, es especie protegida desde los años 60. Su hábitat se ha reducido a zonas muy concretas de bosque mediterráneo: Doñana, parte de Sierra Morena y los Montes de Toledo, y zonas muy restringidas de Portugal. Es, de hecho, el felino más amenazado del planeta, por los pocos ejemplares que quedan, lo que hace que sea de suma importancia su conservación.

I always wanted to have one as a child. When I grew up, I still did, but I found out it would be quite difficult, so I had to make do with my cat. However, I’ve always been fascinated by the beauty of our most characteristic and elegant feline: the Iberian lynx.

Unfortunately, this animal is on the brink of extinction today. The lynx is a carnivore, with the looks of a cat, but bigger. It has three distinctive features: a short tail with a tassel at the end of it, which they use to communicate danger or excitement; dark hairs resembling paintbrush bristles on the tip of their pointy ears, and long whiskers sticking out of their face. Their spotted fur color goes from brownish to grayish.

It is a lonely, nomadic, and nocturnal animal: they only socialize during the mating season, during the first few months of the year. Their litters tend to include between 2 and 4 cubs. While in the winter time they stay active all day, as soon the temperature rises they prefer to stay hidden until dusk.  They’re agile hunters, and they feed mainly on rabbits and hares, although they also enjoy other small mammals, partridges, and other birds.

This feline, formerly regarded as a pest, and valued for its fur, has been protected since the 60s. Its habitat has been reduced to very specific areas of Mediterranean forest: Doñana, Sierra Morena Natural Park, and the Toledo Mountains, as well as some limited areas in Portugal. In fact, it is the most endangered cat in the planet, with only a few specimens left, which makes its preservation all the more important.

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About the Author: Magda

Hi all! I’m Magda, a Spanish native speaker writing the culture posts in the Transparent Language Spanish blog. I have a Bachelor’s in English Philology and a Master’s in Linguistics and Literature from the University of Granada, in Spain. I have also completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, and then worked as an English teacher in several schools and academies for several years. Last year was my first at university level. In addition, I work as a private tutor, teaching English and Spanish as a foreign language to students and adults. In my free time, I’m an avid reader and writer, editing and collaborating in several literary blogs. I have published my first poetry book recently. And last but not least, I love photography!


Comments:

  1. Pilar:

    En efecto, Doñaña es uno de los puntos de la geografía española donde se pueden encontrar algunos linces ibéricos. Obtuvimos un permiso para trabajar dentro del Parque Natural y allí, en mitad del camino, nos encontramos a un lince tumbado. Nos pusimos tan nerviosos que no acertábamos a encontrar la cámara de fotos y el lince se marchó después de tomarse su tiempo para mirarnos, bostezar, etc…