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Project terminology

  • Population

    IUCN defines Population as the total number of individuals of the taxon, including both wild and captive individuals.

    Global Population is the term used in the LYNXCONNECT proposal to refer the total number of wild individuals.

  • Subpopulation

    This concept is equivalent to the biological population: the number of individuals living in a specific geographical area at a given time and able to reproduce with each other

    Five subpopulations can be considered for the Iberian Lynx (with the nuances noted below): Doñana, Sierra Morena Oriental, Montes de Toledo, Matachel and Vale do Guadiana.

  • Metapopulation

    It is a set of population nuclei with fluid gene flow between them. For the Iberian Lynx, Sierra Morena Oriental can be considered a metapopulation which includes Andújar, Guarrizas and Guadalmellato in Andalusia, and Campo de Montiel in Castilla La Mancha.

    As mentioned above, this metapopulation is one of the species’s subpopulations.

  • Stepping stone

    A stepping stone is an area located between two consolidated subpopulations, with al least 1.500 hectares of ecological characteristics to host at least two breeding females.

  • Translocation

    Is the deliberate movement of organisms from one site for release in another with the main objective of improving their conservation status.

    All lynx releases in the Project are translocations, independent of the origin, wild or from captivity, of the individual released.

    The term “release” specifically excludes the management of placing organisms into habitat conditions significantly different to those on their natural habitats. So, recruiting animals to take them to breeding centres is not a translocation.

  • Population restoration

    Is any conservation translocation to within indigenous range. It can be: 1) Reinforcement or 2) Reintroduction.

  • Reinforcement

    Is the intentional movement and release of an organism into an existing population of conspecifics.

  • Reintroduction

    Is the intentional movement and release of an organism inside its indigenous range from which it has disappeared.

  • Breeding female

    It is the equivalent to IUCN’s mature female; a female that is physiologically capable of reproduction, has the possibility of being fertilised by a male and resides in a specific territory. If she is a reintroduced female, she must have had viable pups.

    It should be noted that:

    1.- In general, a female is physiologically able to reproduce from the age of two years (though there are a few records of one-year old breeding females).

    2.- The female mut occupy a territory at least during the breeding season (from oestrus to delivery).


    ✅ A female is a breeding female if she meets the characteristics listed above; even if she does not breed in a given year, she may still maintain her status as a breeding female in that year.

    ✅ Any female, of any age, living in a territory and breeding is a breeding female.

    ✅ If a female that has been a breeding female for n years dies or disappears in February of a given year, she shall not be considered breeding female in that year.

    ✅ Adult females living in isolated areas with no males can not be considered breeding females, as they can’t breed.

  • Adult female

    A female that has reached two years old