According to the 2021 census released by the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests (ICNF), across the Iberian Peninsula, 1,325 lynx specimens were counted, 1,156 in Spain and 209 in Portugal.
The Iberian lynx nucleus in Portugal is in the Guadiana valley, with 139 adult or juvenile animals, of which 31 breeding females gave birth to 70 kits in 2021.
In Spain there are 12 nuclei, with most of the population (519 animals) in the Andalusia area, followed by Castilla-La Mancha (473) and Extremadura (164), where there are "autonomous communities with a stable presence of the species".
The Iberian lynx population has declined since the 1950s and only started to recover in 2004, when the population in the Iberian Peninsula rose above 100 specimens.
The year 2020 was the first time the total number of animals rose above 1,000.
"Human persecution and the scarcity of wild rabbits were the main causes of the decline of this population, bringing the species to the brink of extinction", recalls the ICNF.
The 2021 Iberian lynx census was carried out by the nature conservation administrations of Portugal and Spain together with non-governmental organisations.