Zarcilla de Ramos (Lorca), March 2 (EFE).- Three specimens of Iberian lynx already live in the area of the Lorca district of Zarcilla de Ramos, in Murcia, where they have been released this Thursday as part of the conservation project for that kind “Life Lynxconnect”, to which the autonomous community has allocated 400,000 euros and of which it forms part together with 22 other partners.
The president of the Region of Murcia, Fernando López Miras, has participated in the release of the three specimens in an “acclimatization enclosure”, which is the step prior to their final release in the natural environment.
In total, it is planned to release eight Iberian lynxes in the Region and the final objective is to increase the number in the coming years until there are 15 breeding females and thus be able to consolidate the population of this feline in the recovery phase after having been in critical danger of extinction. at the beginning of the 21st century.
For Miras, with this release, “an important boost to the conservation and protection of the environment in the community has been given with the return of the Iberian lynx to the Region of Murcia.”
The lynx released this morning are called Tiko, Torrealvilla and Tahúlla, and their names have been chosen by a thousand schoolchildren who participated in a survey for that purpose and Tejo will arrive next week, from a breeding center in Portugal.
Javier Salcedo, coordinator of the European Project “Life Lynxconnet”, has referred to the previous work of evaluation and selection of the release area and explained that the last documented lynx in the Region of Murcia were sighted in the Sierra de La Pila in the years 80 of the 20th century.
The specimens arrived in Lorca, who are about to turn one year old, are equipped with collars with geolocators to monitor their behavior and their condition, and in this first acclimatization enclosure there are also cameras in the fences, they will be supervised at all times and they will be will assess your physical condition.
When they are fully incorporated into nature, they will face the threats of the environment and their monitoring will be carried out by “photo trapping” with camouflaged cameras every hundred hectares throughout the area where the species is present.
The pattern of spots of each lynx is individual and permanent throughout life and this will also allow program experts to easily recognize them, said Salcedo, who explained that the area chosen for the reintroduction meets requirements such as water and abundance of rabbits, their main food.
On the possibilities of reproduction in the wild, he explained that the specimens reintroduced in Lorca are still very young, and their sexual maturity will arrive next year, since the rutting season occurs between December and January.
“From previous experiences we know that with almost two years they can be reproduced and perhaps next year there will already be a reproduction event here,” Salcedo stated.
Representatives of environmental associations such as Anse, neighborhood organizations in the north of Lorca such as Espartaria, and municipal groups and the team from the Ministry of the Environment have been present at the reintroduction act of these lynx in the Lorca mountains.