This Iberian Lynx was seen at night next to a dead Mouflon, but I did not see the lynx eat from the carcass.
In January 2011 we made a one week visit to the Sierra de Andújar area in the vast Sierra Morena in Spain. The area is densely wooded and boasts one of the best preserved expanses of Mediterranean forest and scrubland in Andalucia and the area holds one of the last two viable populations of the critically endangered Iberian Lynx which is widely considered to be the rarest cat in the world.
Iberian Lynx was our primary target but I hoped to pick up as many mammals and other good species as possible. The trip was incredibly successful and exceeded all expectations as I hope some of the photos and videos illustrates.
Lacking rabbits, the Lynx will hunt and eat young deer, mouflon, duck and other birds, fish and, possibly, foxes.
Iberian Lynx eats European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) almost exclusively (93% of prey by weight during the summer), needing approximately one rabbit per day to satisfy its energy requirements (Nowell & Jackson 1996). The video below shoves an Iberian Lynx killing and eating a European Rabbit.
After eating the rabbit the lynx walked uphill as seen in the next video.
The video below shoves our first sight of an Iberian Lynx in Sierra de Andújar where we had a total of five visual and one audio encounters during a six days family vacation.
Common Genet was seen during a night drive along the picnic area on the western bank of Rio Jandula downstream Embalse de El Encinarejo.
My 7 year old daughter is proud as she has just found a huge fossil print in the 150 million years old limestone rocks at El Torcal Natural Park.
El Torcal Natural Park possesses probably the most impressive formations of limestone in whole Europe.
Iberian Ibex is jumping on the limestone formations in El Torcal Natural Park.
A party of six Mouflon rams near Los Escoriales in Sierra de Andújar.
Mouflon ram is known as the prettiest of the wild sheep.
As seen in the video below another small party of just two Mouflon rams were seen from one of the La Lancha watchpoints.
Wild Boar on the road near Los Escoriales.
A Red Fox was seen twice along the road near Los Escoriales where a Badger was also seen on a night drive.
Red Deer is numerous in the whole area and seen many times.
Fellow Deer is less abundant than Red Deer though seen rather often at night in the La Lanca and Los Escoriales area.
Iberian Hare was seen twice during night drives between Los Escoriales and the La Lancha watchpoints.
Note hove Iberian Hare has a white patch on the belly that is wider than in other hare species and includes the top of the front legs.
European Rabbit is numerous in the whole area and seen many times daily.
Wood Mice were numerous in the whole area and seen many times crossing roads during night drives.
Wood Mice are cute little critters.
This is the first of two Daubenton's Bats seen in the tunnel at Jandula Dam. The dark-coloured individuals seen in Spain were described as a separate species (Myotis nathalinae), but are nowadays considered to be small-sized Daubenton´s Bats.
This is the other of the two Daubenton's Bats in the tunnel at Jandula Dam.
The second Daubenton's Bat.
Only one Schrieber’s Bat was seen in the tunnel at Jandula Dam.
Only one Greater Mouse-eared Bat was seen in the tunnel at Jandula Dam.
At Santuario de la Virgen de la Cabeza my daughter found this beautiful and very tame cat. She just loved that cat. European Wildcat hybridizes with domestic cats and this one could have some wildcat genes judging from colour, pattern and its large feed...
On night drives I was waiting for Garden Dormouse to cross the road but as it failed to appear I started to consider whether they had awaken yet; in their southern range they are supposed to hibernate for two months. Then on the last night I was overtaken by two speeding cars and further uphill this fresh roadkill was found...
Three different Tawny Owls were seen on night drives in Sierra de Andújar.
Natterjack Toad is numerous in the whole area and seen many times.
Natterjack Toad is beautiful and highly variable in colours.
Western Spadefoot Toad was seen at night drives at different sites in Sierra de Andújar.
This is another Western Spadefoot Toad.
Two Spanish Terrapins were found in overcast weather on the western bank of Rio Jandula downstream Embalse de El Encinarejo.
Spanish Terrapin near Rio Jandula.
Sierra de Andújar is densely wooded and boasts one of the best preserved expanses of Mediterranean forest and scrubland in Andalucia.
View from one of the La Lancha watchpoints.
There are some beautiful streets in the old village of Antequera.