Feeds

€400k-a-head Iberian Lynx mainly threatened by Spanish politics, NOT climate change

Photogenic pussies desperate for rabbit

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

The survival of the endangered Iberian Lynx can easily be ensured, scientists report today, if only Spanish regional politicians will stop insisting on efforts to reintroduce the iconic cats into areas which are unsuitable for them.

"The world's most endangered cat", according to this statement from Copenhagen university, is imperilled today because it can only eat rabbits, and the rabbit population of the Iberian peninsula has been devastated by disease in recent times. As a result there are now only 250 lynxes left in the wild, despite massive efforts by the Spanish authorities on their behalf - no less than €100 million (or €400k per head) has been spent on lynx conservation so far, we learn.

The two surviving populations of wild lynxes are done for if they stay where they are no matter what humanity does in the way of cutting carbon emissions, according to a group of scientists whose work was published yesterday in Nature Climate Change. They write:

Anticipated climate change will rapidly and severely decrease lynx abundance and probably lead to its extinction in the wild within 50 years, even with strong global efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

But the boffins go on to say that nonetheless the lynxes could live on if animals are released into the wild in suitable places. Unfortunately, it seems that the Spanish government is not planning on doing that. We are told:

Spanish policymakers are considering releasing lynxes evenly across the country’s autonomous regions [but] the scientists’ models predict the most suitable areas to be in the northern half of the Iberian Peninsula. These areas could ultimately deliver both prey abundance and habitat connectivity in spite of climate change.

In other words, southern politicians want lynxes placed in their constituencies, even though it would actually be better for the cats to put them all in the north - where they would laugh at climate change. The politicians' "geopolitical strategy" would at best see lynx numbers remaining dangerously low, the scientists say, whereas focusing on the best areas would see numbers increase to 900 or more by the end of the century - climate change or no.

So it would seem that it is not climate change which is the main threat to the iconic cats - but Spanish politicians. ®

Want to comment on this issue? Head on over to our vibrant Forums section. (Don't worry, normal comments policy will be restored in the near future.)

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
IBM Hursley Park: Where Big Blue buries the past, polishes family jewels
How the internet of things has deep roots in the English countryside
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Honeybee boffin STINGS OWN WEDDING TACKLE... for SCIENCE
Not the worst place to be stung, says one man
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.