Management of the Iberian Lynx Breeding Centers Group


Management of the Captive Breeding Centers Group is framed by the National Strategy for the Conservation of the Iberian Lynx, under supervision of the Multilateral Commission, established in November 2006 as an extension of the original Bilateral Commission of the “Ministerio de Medio Ambiente” and “La Junta de Andalucía”. The Multilateral Commission, currently formed by the “Ministerio de Medio Ambiente”, the Portuguese Government and the Autonomous Communities of Andalucía, Extremadura and Castilla-La Mancha, has the mandate of propelling, designing and developing a coordinated program for the lynx conservation in the Iberian Peninsula, as to inform and involve to a maximum diverse institutions, public and private organisms and all the society on conservation of the Iberian lynx.


According to in the Action Plan for Captive Breeding of Iberian Lynx, management for the Iberian Lynx Breeding Centers Group will be completed in an unified approach under scientific and technical guidelines of the Ex Situ Conservation Program.




Agreements signed for the lynx’s transfers to the exclusive breeding centers supported by the various Autonomous Communities and Portugal, should integrate commitment in protection, restoration and management of potential future reintroduction habitat. Thereby, in situ and ex situ conservation would unite assuring habitat disposability for the lynx recovery in nature via the Captive Breeding Program.



“El Acebuche” Breeding Center


Location: Doñana National Park, Matalascañas (Huelva)

Opening year: 1992

Number of enclosures: 18

Administration responsable of managment: Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Medio Rural y Marino/Consejería Medio Ambiente-Junta de Andalucía.




“El Acebuche” was built attached to the Wildlife Recovery Center of the Doñana National Park. It wasn’t until the end of 2003, with the agreement signed between the “Ministerio de Medio Ambiente” and the “Consejería de Medio Ambiente de la Junta de Andalucía”, that the Ex Situ Conservation Program of the Iberian Lynx started off at this complex. At the endings of this same year wild male captures started for their incorporation as founders of the captive population which, at that moment, was formed by 4 females already at “El Acebuche”.


On March the 28th of 2005, round about 8p.m., Saliega, Iberian lynx female from the population of the Sierra Morena, gave birth to the first Iberian lynx litter born in captivity. This achievement meant a great step forwards for the conservation and recovery actions of the species.


Currently “El Acebuche” acts as the coordinator center of the Breeding Centers Group for the Iberian Lynx Ex Situ Conservation Program.


Zoobotánico of Jerez


Location: Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz)

Opening year: 2005.

Number of enclosure: 5

Administration responsable of managment: Ayuntamiento de Jerez




The “Zoobotánico de Jerez” has always been part of the Iberian Lynx Ex Situ Conservation Plan, participating in the workshop that settled its foundations in autumn 1999 and incorporating its self as an associated center to the Breeding Program. Coordination of the program started here, establishing the Captive Breeding committee for the Iberian Lynx in 2002 and managing the Program’s Studbook. The “Zoobotánico de Jerez” has also been cooperative in veterinary issues and technical support since the beginning of the program.


The “Zoobotánico de Jerez” was the first to assume the duty of bringing up the first Iberian lynx cubs to be incorporated into the Program. They hand raised Esperanza (2001), Aura and Saliega (2002) and Cromo (2003) which were all four later moved to “El Acebuche”.


In 2005 new equipment was built at the “Zoobotánico de Jerez” for the purpose of Iberian lynx captive breeding. These enclosures are located in the new part of the park known as AREA (Área de Reproducción de Especies Amenazadas) which is isolated from public access. Many captured animals from wild populations have passed through these enclosures in order to be incorporated to the Breeding Program. Latter, they have been moved to the breeding centers of “El Acebuche” (Doñana) and “La Olivilla” (Jaén).



Centro Nacional de Reprodução de Lince Ibérico (Centro de Silves)


Location: Vale Fuzeiros, Silves, Portugal

Opening year: 2009

Number of enclosure: 16

Administration responsable of managment: Águas do Algarve S.A., y Instituto da Conservação da Natureza e Biodiversidade





The Iberian Lynx National Breeding Center (Silves’ Center) was inaugurated in May 2009 and received its first Iberian lynx specimen, Azahar, a female from the “Zoobotánico de Jerez”, on October the 26th.  The Center of Silves is the result of an agreement signed between the Spanish kingdom and the Portuguese republic for the conservation of this species during 2006 and 2008, which represents the most visible link of collaboration between these two countries for the conservation of the Iberian lynx. Furthermore, Spain and Portugal have agreed to prepare and create new territories for reintroduction in both countries, setting up an Iberian program for in situ conservation and reintroduction of the species.


Breeding Center of  “Granadilla"


Location: Zarza de Granadilla (Cáceres)

Opening year: 2011

Number of enclosure: 16

Administration responsable of managment: Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Medio Rural y Marino




This centre was inaugurated on March 2011 with the arrival of: Gitano, Granito, Galeno and Fábula. Its opening allows the Ex-situ Conservation Programme to obtain the optimal capacity in order to shelter the captive population planned by the Captive Breeding Strategy. Also, with this centre operating, the Ex-situ Conservation Programme reaches its target in specimen production for lynx reintroduction and reinforcement programmes.


Breeding Center "La Olivilla"


Location: Montes de La Aliseda. Santa Elena (Jaén)

 Opening year: 2007

 Number of enclosures: 23.

 Administration responsable of managment: Consejería de Medio Ambiente Junta de Andalucía.




“La Olivilla” is the largest of all centers that are comprised in the Iberian Lynx Captive Breeding Program Group. It has 23 enclosures with a surface of about 1250m2 for each, each containing autochthon vegetation. The center also includes five other buildings intended for laboratory and clinic room, hand rearing room, office, quarantines and staff lodgings.


On January the 18th of 2007 “La Olivilla” received its first’s specimen of Iberian Lynx from “El Acebuche” Camarina and Cuco. Their arrival marked the starting off of the center where two years later, on March 22nd of 2009, the first litter was born. Dama, a two year old female born in captivity, gave birth to two cubs, Fan and Foco. This was the first time for a Captive Breeding Center to achieve a successful birth from a two year old female, and implied the first litter fruit of two captive born specimens.


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