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Lynx Watching – or not

Posted on in Blog
I had watched a National Geographic Programme on the Iberian Lynx that live in Spain in one of two national parks. There has been a conservation programme to restore their numbers through a breeding programme and then releasing them into the wild.

Lynx feed on rabbit but the rabbit population has been significantly affected by disease. They need to eat a rabbit a day and part of the programme involves ensuring there are enough to support the Lynx population. The rangers will use harmless traps to entice a lynx in for the rabbit. They can then monitor the ‘wild’ population

One of the locations is about 230km north west of Malaga and it is a popular spot for watching lynx and other animals and birds that inhabit the parks.

So I chose a Saturday during the Santa Semana holidays – Easter – when many Spanish have travelled to see family and the roads would be better than they normally are.  200km later – no traffic jams or roadworks – I had passed Cordoba and was heading for Abuja.

From there you drive up into the hills until I reached a specific spot known for its Lynx spotting – the Encinarejo trail

You can park anywhere along the track and look across the river to try and spot one. Apart from Lynx there are wild deer (Fallow and Red ) ,  otters  in the rivers and plenty of birds of prey ( Griffon and Black Vultures, the Spanish Imperial eagle) in the area.

Once you try and spot something like a medium sized dog across a river in wooded countryside with large boulders that provide good hiding places you begin to think its not going to be easy.

It wasn’t!!

After about 3 hours all I had seen were some birds of prey and some Spanish Pond turtles sunning themselves on a log in the river.

The only Lynx I saw was this – I will go again and give it more time and try other locations.

Richard Nolan

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