After Flora and Juncia, each with three cubs, it was Kaida‘s turn to be a mother at the National Reproduction Centre of the Iberian Lynx (CNRLI) in Silves, Portugal. This season there are now eight cubs of this Endangered species.
Kaida, a five-year-old Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus), gave birth for the first time on 5th April at CNRLI. She had two “apparently healthy cubs as a result of her mating with male Fresco”, the Ex-situ Conservation Program reports.
This is considered “a litter of risk due to the lack of experience of Kaida“. But this lynx “seems to be taking good care of the cubs, for an inexperienced female,” the Program adds.
Kaida is a lynx with a story to tell. She was born in another breeding centre in captivity, the Breeding Centre of La Olivilla (Jaén, Spain). When she was one year old she was reintroduced in the nature, more concretely in Guarrizas, in Andaluzia. But after six months, in November, she had to be captured because she was not well. “It was proved that she had finger injuries and an infection caused by a parasite and therefore she entered the quarantine facilities of La Olivilla to recover,” the Program explains.
But at the end of the recovery process, Kaida had lost her escape behaviour in the presence of humans. The program technicians considered it was “prudent not to release her again.”
She arrived at CNRLI in December 2015 and this year had her first two cubs with the male Fresco. This lynx has been the father of a total of 18 cubs so far, of which 12 have been reintroduced. Of these, the most famous will be Khan and Kentaro, the travelling lynx who returned to Portugal after having been reintroduced in Montes de Toledo, Castilla-La Mancha.
In this breeding season – which began in December 2017 and will only end in April 2018 – Silves saw the birth of the three cubs of Juncia and Fado on 28th March. Juncia was also a mother for the first time. Therefore, her litter is being monitored with special care.
The first delivery of the season took place on 19th March, when Flora and Madagascar were the parents of three cubs.
For the 2017/2018 season, between 29 and 41 cubs are expected in the five breeding centres in captivity in the Iberian Peninsula.
Alongside the captive breeding season, the project of reintroductions to reinforce the wild populations takes place in nature. This year 30 Iberian lynx (15 males and 15 females) will be released, distributed according to genetic criteria by the different areas of reintroduction.
Read our series “How an Iberian Lynx is born” and meet veterinarians, video-watchers, caretakers and the rest of the CNRLI team in Silves.