The Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardel) is one of the rarest species on earth, and at the worlds 2nd rarest feline species after the Amur Leopard. So it is somewhat of an understatement to say the Iberian Lynx , with only an estimated 200-250 surviving in the wild, has more than a few problems regarding it’s mid to long term prospects for survival. Since making the switch from photography to filming in the last couple of years, my goal has been to try to convince a production company specializing in wildlife documentaries to pick up my project and help me bring it to fruition, as this species is yet another that has suffered greatly at the hands of man, sadly to such an extent that we have driven it to the edge of extinction in the last 15 years. It’s numbers in the wild were down to between 75 -90 individuals only as far back as 1999.
In order to convince the production companies and broadcasters that this would be a great story, albeit a difficult one, I am about to spend several months over the coming year, living in the back of a Toyota MPV in the heart of Lynx territory in Andalusia, southern Spain, learning as much as I can about the species and the landscape where this species clings to a fragile existence. Capturing footage of this very rare feline is a huge challenge, so I thought it would be a good idea to create a blog to give those with an interest in the species, and nature in general, a chance to follow my filming exploits as I set about trying to get a are peak into into the life of this very rare feline.
My interest in wildlife started at an early age, but my passion for photographing feline species started in earnest when I spent a total of 3 years camped out in southern Chiles awe inspiring Torres del Paine National Park, between 1998 and 2003, where I had gone to search out, observe and photograph the elusive Patagonian Puma. After that incredible adventure I found myself back in the chaos and pollution of London at somewhat of a loose end.
Desperate to escape I drifted to Andalucia, in southern Spain, a place I had been very fortunate to have visited as a young child, and had fond memories of. This large autonomous region is blessed with one of the best climates in the world and is home to a Plethora of wildlife species, and the rarest of these, and one I had long wished to observe in the wild , was clinging to a very fragile existence in two remnant breeding populations only a short drive from my home on the coast. It was a no brainer to choose this species as the subject for my first attempt at making a wildlife documentary.
So it begins. I am currently ensconced in a cafe near Marbella on the Costa del Sol, enjoying the last of the luxuries it offers, waiting for the last bits of equipment to arrive, as the coming months will be spent living in the back of Toyota MPV plotted up among the sun scorched hills and valleys of the Sierra Morena National Park,in Jaen province, home to one of only 2 barely viable remnant breeding populations, the 2nd and smaller being in and around the Donana National Park, Spains most important wetland, located in the province of Huelva, These 2 locations will become my home for several months, and the success of my project will depend on a lot of luck, as I will be searching for the proverbial “needle in a haystack”
I CANNOT WAIT.