The Parish of Malcata, in the municipality of Sabugal, will inaugurate today, the "Centro de Interpretação do Lince Ibérico", a centre dedicated to the Iberian lynx. It will seek to attract visitors and promote the feline that is associated with the Serra da Malcata.

According to the president of the Parish Council of Malcata, João Vítor Nunes Fernandes, the space occupies a room in the building of the old post of the Fiscal Guard and will be inaugurated by 16:00 on Saturday, 18 of June.

"The Iberian lynx has been, for many years, related to the mountains and the people of the Parish of Malcata. The feline was in danger of extinction and a plan to save the lynx was launched [with the reintroduction of the Iberian Lynx in Portugal]. The last natural habitat was actually the Serra da Malcata," said the mayor today to Lusa news agency.

"When we started thinking about the centre, the number of specimens was much lower than it is today, because there have been reproduction centres created over the years that are showing results, and the number of specimens is no longer so small", he said.

João Vítor Nunes Fernandes noted, however, that no specimens have yet been sighted in the Serra da Malcata.

"The lynx was completely extinct in the Serra de Malcata, hence the need for [the Malcata Parish Council] to create a space that could bring us the living image, what is its natural habitat, food, and fur, so that the lynx is not forgotten in what was its last habitat," he justified.

With the Iberian Lynx centre in the village of Malcata, the municipality intends to raise awareness about the feline and make the territory "more attractive" to visitors.

João Vítor Nunes Fernandes told Lusa that the new interpretive space, which "has everything that concerns the lynx", bets on new technologies and audiovisual media.

"Whoever goes in there and doesn't know much about the Iberian lynx, will get to know it well", he guaranteed.

The creation of the Iberian Lynx centre amounted to an investment of 59 thousand, about 50% of which was made up of community funds and the Sabugal City Hall.

In the initial phase of operation, due to lack of human resources, visits will be made by appointment in the Parish Council of Malcata.

The municipality of Sabugal announced in February that it is part of the Lynx 2020 project, along with the municipalities of Penamacor and Castelo de Vide, which aims to implement a system for the conservation of Iberian lynx habitats and the recovery of wild rabbit populations.