The iberian lynx belongs to the rarest wild cats on the planet. At the same time, the success of bringing it back from the brink of extinction is a result which shows how effort can pay off. In 2002 only an estimated 200 iberian lynxes were left in the wilderness of the iberian peninsula. Main cause was a desease which killed entire populations of wild rabbits, their main diet. But also loss of habitat and industrial agriculture were part of the decline. With lots of effort the spanish governmenet and many other organizations started a program to breed iberian lynxes in captivity and release the offspring into the wild in certain areas, where a healthy rabbit population and a lynx friendly environment was created. Most of these areas were former rural farmland and some parts of national parks. In 2021, more than 1000 iberian lynx are back in their natural habitat in different regions of the iberian peninsula. But seeing them is still dificult, they are so elusive and i needed 5 days in a hide to get a shot like this. One of the most fascinating animals for me. For more pictures of spanish wildlife click here.