Navigation Links
Iberian lynx threatened by climate change
Date:7/22/2013

Climate change could drive the Iberian lynx ‒ the world's most threatened cat to extinction within 50 years, despite substantial ongoing conservation efforts, a new international study has found.

Published today in Nature Climate Change, the research team says the impact of climate change must be incorporated in strategies to reintroduce the Iberian lynx to new habitats if the species is to be saved.

"We show that climate change could lead to a rapid and severe decrease in lynx abundance in coming decades, and probably lead to its extinction in the wild within 50 years," says lead author Dr Damien Fordham, from the University of Adelaide's Environment Institute. "Current management efforts could be futile if they don't take into account the combined effects of climate change, land use and prey abundance on population dynamics of the Iberian lynx."

The Iberian lynx is the world's most endangered cat species, with only an estimated 250 individuals surviving in the wild. Recent declines have been associated with sharp regional reductions in the abundance of its main prey, the European rabbit. Only two Iberian lynx populations persist in the wild compared with nine in the 1990s.

Over 90 million has been spent since 1994 to try and save the species, mainly through habitat management, reduction of destructive human activity and, more recently, reintroducing the lynx into suitable areas where they have lived in recent history.

Although there is evidence that lynx numbers have increased in the last ten years in response to intensive management, this study warns that the ongoing conservation strategies could buy just a few decades before the species goes extinct. This study is the most comprehensive conservation-management model yet developed of the effects of climate change on a predator and its prey.

"Models used to investigate how climate change will affect biodiversity have so far been unable to capture the dynamic and complex feedbacks of species interactions," says Dr Miguel Arajo, senior author and Spanish Research Council (CSIC) Senior Researcher at the National Museum of Natural Sciences in Madrid. "By developing new forecasting methods, we have managed, for the first time, to simulate demographic responses of lynx to spatial patterns of rabbit abundance conditioned by disease, climate change, and land use modification."

CSIC researcher at the Doana Biological Station in Seville, Dr Alejandro Rodrguez, says: "Habitat in the south-west of the Iberian Peninsula, where the two existing populations of lynx persist, is most likely to be inhospitable to lynx by the middle of this century." Current reintroduction plans are targeting the south of Spain and Portugal but survival of the species in the long term may require higher latitude and higher altitude regions on the Iberian Peninsula.

"That the numbers of Iberian lynx are currently increasing suggests that intensive management of habitat and rabbit populations have worked as effective short-term conservation strategies, but small population size means that the species is still threatened and susceptible to future population declines," says Professor Barry Brook, Chair of Climate Science at the University of Adelaide. "This means that the species is extremely vulnerable to shifts in habitat quality or to changes in the abundance of their rabbit prey due to climate change."

The researchers say climate-change-informed decisions should be a common part of conservation practice.


'/>"/>
Contact: Dr. Damien Fordham
damien.fordham@adelaide.edu.au
61-477-303-470
University of Adelaide
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New in GEOLOGY: Gems, Darwin, Mars, Hemp, Snowball Earth, a Siberian Impact Crater, and More
2. 2 new species of mushroom on Iberian Peninsula described
3. Trout will become extinct in the Iberian Peninsula in less than 100 years
4. The Iberian wolf lives close to humans more for refuge than for prey
5. Remote Siberian lake holds clues to Arctic -- and Antarctic -- climate change
6. The millennium-old olive trees of the Iberian Peninsula are younger than expected
7. Threatened frogs palmed off as forests disappear
8. Researchers help threatened wheat crops in Asia, Africa
9. UK butterfly populations threatened by extreme drought and landscape fragmentation
10. 100 most threatened species
11. Continuing management needed for most threatened and endangered species
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/1/2016)... , Feb. 1, 2016  Today, the first ... (AHA) announced plans to develop a first of its ... power of IBM Watson. In the first application of ... IBM (NYSE: IBM ), and Welltok will create ... health assessments with cognitive analytics, delivered on Welltok,s health ...
(Date:1/25/2016)... , Jan. 25, 2016  Glencoe Software, the world-leading ... and publication industries, will provide the data management solution ... (NPSC). ... Phenotypic analysis measures the ... organisms, allowing comparisons between states such as health and ...
(Date:1/20/2016)... Jan. 20, 2016   MedNet Solutions , an ... spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to announce the ... achievements are the result of the company,s laser focus ... eClinical , it,s comprehensive, easy-to-use and highly affordable ... --> Key MedNet growth achievements in 2015 include: ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... , Feb. 11, 2016  Spectra BioPharma Selling ... (CSO) that provides biopharma companies the experience, expertise, ... and deploy outsourced sales teams. Created in concert ... addresses both the strategic and tactical needs of ... sales solutions through both personal and non-personal promotion. ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... BioInformant announces the February 2016 release of its ... and Technologies – Market Size, Segments, Trends, and Projections ... The first and only market research firm ... more than a decade of historical information on all ... type. This powerful 175 page global strategic report contains ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... WASHINGTON , February 10, 2016 Early-career ... , Peru , Uganda ... their life-enhancing work in health and nutrition   Indonesia ... Uganda and Yemen are ... sciences and epidemiology. They are also celebrated for mentoring young women scientists ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... (NYSE MKT: ISR), a medical technology company and innovator ... treatment of prostate, brain, lung, head and neck and ... second quarter and six months of fiscal 2016, which ... --> Revenue was $1.19 million for ... 31, 2015, a 12% increase compared to $1.07 million ...
Breaking Biology Technology: