Iberian Lynx numbers increasing
Cornelis J. Hazevoet sent me a link to an article showing that Iberian Lynxes have more than tripled in number in the decade to 2011.
Obviously good news, but interesting too in that that species has been the focus of quite a lot of mammal ecotourism in recent years. Tourism that has both generated revenue for the local community in Andalucia (and so helped protect the Lynx at least indirectly) but also caused disturbance to the animals.
THanks Juan. Yes I’ve heard others say that some of those who go to look for Lynxes are not respecting the animals. But at the same time I wonder if the local people are doing more to protect them because of the business the tourists have brought with them. It would be an interesting study.
I think disturbance by lynx watchers is overplayed, because site is hunting grounds plus holiday houses and popular with general tourism (Rio Andujar site has picknick tables full of picknickers every weekend).
Careless watchers easily cause lynx to move into bushes and spoil the observations for each other, but it is insignificant on the background of general human activity there.
I never understood the logic that ordinary farmers, hunters, picknickers etc somehow have more right to disturb wildlife than eco-tourists.
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Juan Pedro García
There are not studies or economic estimations of the budget generated by lynx ecotourims in Andalusia. But there are some evidences that nowadays in some areas, the hunting ground “fences” are even protecting the lynxes from the non-educated lynx eco-tourist that are not respecting the free movements of the animals, moving around the trails to get the best view and pictures, conditionating the movements of the animals. And that is very sad for conservationist.