The environmental news network Mongabay recently published a list of the five most endangered wild cat species. They are:
- The tiger (Panthera tigris): 2,154-3,159 mature individuals in the wild
- The flat-headed cat (Prionailurus planiceps): 2,499 mature individuals in the wild
- The Bornean bay cat (Catopuma bardia): 2,200 mature individuals in the wild
- The Andean cat (Leopardus jacobita): 1,378 mature individuals in the wild
- The Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus): 156 mature individuals in the wild.
The original article, written by Genevieve Belmaker, contains additional information about the threats facing the above cats. In addition, clicking on their scientific names (in parentheses next to each cat’s English name) will take you to their IUCN Red List pages. There you will find a detailed description of each species’ conservation status.
As you may have noticed, the Iberian lynx’s situation is especially dire. They have been hard hit by habitat degradation and a decline in European rabbit numbers: on which the cats almost totally rely for prey. Due to aggressive conservation measures, including a state-of-the-art captive breeding program, the Iberian lynx has begun to recover – although they are still highly endangered.