The Iberian Lynx: a rewilding success story

We’re celebrating a significant conservation achievement: the Iberian lynx has improved from Endangered to Vulnerable on the IUCN Red list. This notable recovery, from 62 mature individuals in 2001 to over 2,000 today, showcases the power of dedicated conservation efforts.

The lynx’s comeback is the result of collaborative work focusing on habitat restoration, prey abundance, and genetic diversity expansion. Over 400 lynx have been reintroduced to parts of Portugal and Spain since 2010. However, challenges remain, including prey fluctuations, diseases, and habitat alterations due to climate change.

Rewilding Europe : a key player in this achievement

This success is the result of the tireless efforts of various organizations such as our partner  Rewilding Europe. Their project in the Greater Côa Valley, in Portugal, is aiming to develop a 120,000-hectare wildlife corridor, connecting the Malcata mountain range with the Douro Valley. By securing core areas and restoring natural processes, they’re creating an environment where species like the Iberian lynx can thrive.

Their strategy involves land purchases, agreements with landowners, and the reintroduction of key species. The goal is to boost biodiversity and establish a sustainable, nature-based economy. Once achieved, the Côa Valley could become a crucial wildlife migration route in the Iberian Peninsula.

Future prospects for the Iberian Lynx

This project aligns with broader plans to reintroduce the Iberian lynx to new sites in central and northern Spain.

While the species remains largely depleted according to the Green Status assessment, continued conservation could lead to full recovery within a century. At, we’re really proud of the contribution of Rewilding Europe to this ongoing success story.

Look for more information

Know more about the IUCN red list :

See the map of the Côa valley project on :

Image : © Frank Vassen (CC BY)