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Lynx pair courtship observed on December tour!

Courting Lynx pair

Courting Lynx pair

We’ve had some memorable sightings on our lynx-watching tours in southern Spain but our most recent ‘Spain - Realm of the Iberian Lynx’ group, led by Byron Palacios in December 2014, had a particularly special encounter: having driven deep into the heart of Coto Doñana National Park, they were treated to stunning views of a pair of Iberian Lynx, the world’s most endangered feline. The group watched the young lynx pair for about 30 minutes and witnessed rarely seen courtship behaviour!

Seeing Iberian Lynx in the wild is not for the faint-hearted, as it is never easy! This is the world’s rarest species of cat, and long hours of patient waiting are required in order to maximise the chances of a sighting.

This is exactly what our group did and at last they were rewarded with views of the two Iberian Lynx, which were seen meandering amongst Stone Pines and Lentiscus scrub. Our group made a discrete approach and the lynx pair (both individuals in visibly good condition and estimated to be about 4 years old) continued behaving as if they were not aware of our group. It became apparent to tour guide Byron that our group had hit the jackpot - not only had they found a pair of lynx, they’d stumbled across a pair which were courting! Everyone enjoyed watching the two cats for half an hour as they engaged in some playful and ‘flirtatious’ courtship behaviour. This was mainly led by the female, as the male appeared at first to be lacking in experience of how to respond appropriately. However, as our group watched the female confidently leaving the site with her mate at the end of the sighting, they assumed his behaviour was acceptable to her!

Naturetrek’s Lynx-watching holidays:
Our lynx-watching tour visits two sites: Coto Doñana National Park (which has proved to be one of the best hotspots for the Iberian Lynx since Naturetrek pioneered Iberian Lynx-watching holidays in Spain), and Sierra de Andujar. The combination of these two locations offers a chance to see the lynx in two different habitats and alongside a variety of other interesting species of mammals and birds.

View images from our Iberian Lynx tour.

Further information - Lynx & Wildcats:
To find out or to book our 6-day lynx-watching holiday in Spain, or our 6-day holiday in Navarra in northern Spain looking for Wildcats, please click on the links, call Andy on 01962 733051 or email andy@naturetrek.co.uk