Exploring the Realm of the Iberian Lynx in Sierra de Andujar – I

Exploring the Realm of the Iberian Lynx. Wildlife Watching Ecotourism in Andujar – Part I

Iberian Lynx Watching Tours Andujar Spain - two birds one stone
Female Iberian Lynx contemplating the valley from the refuge of a great rock

The season and the territory were the best to try to watch some specimen of Iberian Lynx in its realm: Sierra de Andujar. More than a year of preparations with a group of clients from Turkey, and finally we were with them, full of enthusiasm and confidence in having some encounter, fleeting as it were, with this magnificent feline.

The fact is that many people try to watch it and very few people succeed, even trying again and again. This is not about having a better or worse sight, or knowing in detail their territories, or their behavior depending on the time of year ... All that helps, a lot, but this is essentially FORTUNE. It is about coinciding in space and time, and that… is improbable and unpredictable.

There are only about 300 specimens of “gato clavo” throughout its distribution area, so to come across with some specimen is a true lottery. Even then, the mimicry it accomplishes when it is still makes it undetectable even if it is just some meters from the observer. The latter fact, in which all those who work daily within the estates it inhabits agree, could be confirmed directly by us, while even knowing the exact position of a large male, 30 meters from us, we were not able to distinguish it unless with the help of binoculars, the zoom of our cameras, or telescopes.

In addition to all these difficulties, the structure of the property in the area, which is occupied almost entirely by large private estates with fenced perimeter, that cannot be accessed without permission from their owners, reduces the places from which it is possible to try to watch the Iberian Lynx, usually restricted to roadsides and tracks, with the hope that it comes close and let itself be seen...

But none of us could expect that the fortune showed up on so many occasions and so generously during the three full days we experienced on the field last week. The chronicle will continue in the coming days ...

We are moving now.

We will tell everybody where we are once we arrive.