Minister of the Environment welcomes work to recover the Iberian lynx

President of the ICNF reinforces his desire to «continue to make every effort to cooperate, so that the Iberian lynx is removed from the threat categories of the IUCN Red List»

The Government congratulates the work to recover the Iberian lynx carried out by several entities in Portugal and Spain, including the ICNF – Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests, and which led to this species no longer being considered “In Danger” of extinction at the Iberian level and began to have a “Vulnerable” classification, on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. 

«This achievement is the result of the efforts made by Portugal and Spain to conserve the species in recent decades», highlights the Ministry of Environment and Energy.

This achievement, highlights the Ministry supervised by Maria da Graça Carvalho, is even more important «when we mark 45 years since the launch of the campaign “Save the Lynx and the Serra da Malcata”, launched in 1979 by the League for the Protection of Nature.

In 2001, the Iberian lynx (lynx pardinus) was the first feline species to be classified as “Critically Endangered. «The memorandum of understanding between Portugal and Spain, established in 2004, was the beginning of a fruitful joint action, which resulted, three years later, in a cooperation agreement regarding the captive breeding program, and, in 2009, in the start of the breeding center for the Iberian lynx”, installed in Serra de Silves.

Since then, «the implementation of concerted actions has allowed for an effective recovery, and in 2015, the species was globally reclassified as “Endangered”. In 2023, the barrier of 2 Iberian lynxes was overcome in the Iberian Peninsula, of which 000 in Portugal», adds the Ministry.

The Minister of Environment and Energy Maria da Graça Carvalho salutes «the remarkable and most successful recovery of a feline ever achieved, highlighting the effort and commitment of all those who contributed to this classification, giving new hope for the future for a of the most emblematic species of the Iberian Peninsula».

«It is with great pleasure that, as Minister of Environment and Energy, I witness this historic moment», says the government official, who highlights the fact «that this milestone was announced days after Portugal helped to approve the Energy Restoration Law Nature of the European Union»

For his part, the president of the ICNF, Nuno Banza, reinforces Portugal's desire to «continue to make every effort to cooperate, so that the Iberian lynx is removed from the threat categories of the IUCN Red List».

«This is a moment to remember intersectoral, interregional and international cooperation, as well as the strong commitment to this mission on the part of administrations and various Portuguese and Spanish public bodies, scientific institutions and different sectors of society – such as hunters, farmers, property owners, environmental non-governmental organizations and private companies», he concludes.