Saturday, 15 July 2017

Saving the Iberian Lynx one salt pot at a time


Last week these pots of salt caught my eye for all the right reasons - they are made from cardboard and have a cork lid, not the usual plastic one.  The salt I normally buy comes in a plastic pot but this will be my salt of choice from now on, not just because of the lack of plastic (which in itself is a positive step forwards) but because the cork lids helps to preserve one of the rarest of our big cats - the Iberian Lynx.




Cork is harvested from cork oaks that in Europe grow in Spain and Portugal.  The bark is stripped from the tree but this does not kill it and the bark regrows ready to be harvested about 9 years later.  Cork Oak forests are the habitat of the very rare Iberian Lynx and about 20 years ago their numbers were down to critically low levels.  Since then conservation work has seen their numbers increase BUT, if cork production declines then there is the risk that the cork forests will be cleared and they will loose their habitat.

Iberian Lynx
Image attribution - By http://www.lynxexsitu.es [CC BY 3.0 es (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/es/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

The last big cat to go extinct was the Sabre Toothed Tiger.  Now with manufacturers turning to sustainable cork for their lids we may cautiously hope that the Iberian Lynx will not head the same way.  Would you buy salt with a cork lid and for the sake of the Iberian Lynx will you now favour proper corks in your wine over plastic ones or screw tops?


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