1 Tahrcountry Musings: Reproduction cycle of the Spanish Lynx Defined from Faeces

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Reproduction cycle of the Spanish Lynx Defined from Faeces

Researcher Teresa Abáigar Ancín, of the Estación Experimental de Zonas Áridas (EEZA - CSIC) arid areas experiment station has succeeded in defining reproduction cycle of the Spanish Lynx (Lynx pardinus) from its faeces. She used an analysis of the sexual hormones concentration- estrogen, progesterone and testosterone- in the feces of the animal to arrive at her conclusions.

The present assumption that reproduction season is between January and February is not based on any scientific report. It depends on scanty field data. The new research unraveled the fact that the estrogen concentration levels in the feces of female lynxes are very low when they are sexually inactive. At the beginning of the female reproduction season there is a definite increase in the concentration of estrogen. It increases up to five times. This allows scientists to accurately determine the exact moment of ovulation.

The ovaries are the organs that produce the hormones progesterone and estrogen. Testosterone is produced by the testicles. These hormones go from the reproductive organs to the bloodstream and then to the digestive system, from where they are expelled outside the body. Once the pregnancy ends, or if there is no pregnancy, the production of estrogen hormones goes back to low levels until the next reproduction cycle. Thus an accurate picture of reproduction cycle is easily generated.

The research also helped the scientists to determine the end of the puberty in Iberian Lynx. The concentration levels were very low until they reached 22 months. From that age onwards, the presence of this hormone increases enormously until it touches the hormonal cycle of an adult lynx.

The results of the research will come in handy for the field management as well as captive breeding of Lynx. The spinoff is expected to benefit other carnivores also.


Andalucía Innova (2009, May 26). Spanish Lynx Reproduction Cycle Determined By Analysis Of Their Feces. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 27,

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