A note of hope was sounded today for Europe's last native big cat, the Iberian lynx. According to today's linked article from the Belfast Telegraph newspaper, Spain's captive breeding programme is beginning to pay off, with another round of cubs born last week. Unfortunately, it is normal for only two cubs per litter to survive, so reproduction rates are slow. In addition, the species' gene pool is becoming weaker over time - though breeding programme staff have several strategies to expand and strengthen it. The last remaining challenge is to protect the lynx's wetland habitat - again, strategies are in place, but the threats are significant and it's not clear that the lynx will ever be able to thrive in its native habitat. For now, however, this beautiful cat is protected and able to reproduce in captivity, giving it at least some hope of long-term survival.