! Murcia Today – Spain installs traffic light system to protect endangered Iberian lynx

Publication date: 04/21/2022

Road accidents are the biggest threat to big cats in Spain

Spain is using a new high-tech system to protect the Iberian lynx, one of the world’s most endangered big cat species: traffic lights to help the animal cross busy roads safely.

The system will then alert approaching drivers to slow down and can actually tell if cars have exceeded the speed limit.

There are now around 1,100 of these big cats in Spain and Portugal.

Experts working with the Life LynxConnect program track the big cats with their GPS collars and the new traffic light system also incorporates signage around known lynx habitats, warning motorists to slow down.

“Today the biggest threats to the lynx are run overs and also because of persecution by hunters. It is of course difficult to prevent these animals from being run over,” explained Guillermo López, a veterinarian who works with Life LynxConnect.

“This virtual program was started to try to provide safe crossings for the lynx which tries to warn drivers if there is wildlife nearby.”

The Life Safe Crossing program is supported by the EU and has already been successfully used in Italy, Romania and Greece to protect their declining brown bear populations.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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