Canada lynx, American lynx
Due to its snowy habitat, the Canada lynx has adapted by growing a thick coat and snowshoes.
Canada lynx live for up to 15 years.
Body length: 65-100cm, Tail length: 10-15cm, Shoulder height: 50-75cm, Weight: male: 10.7kg, female: 8.9kg.
Canada lynx are smaller than the European lynx with a shorter tail and longer hind legs. They have long black ear tufts. Canada lynx have thick cushions of hair on the soles of their large feet, which act like snowshoes. They are twice as effective as bobcats at supporting their weight on the snow.
Canada lynx are distributed throughout Canada and the northern states of the US.
They inhabit forest and tundra regions.
Canada lynx feed almost exclusively on snowshoe hares and have adapted to the cyclic availability of their prey. Snowshoe hare numbers peak every 10 years. As they then start to decline, so do lynx numbers after a two year lag. As the hare population decreases, fewer lynx reproduce and litter size decreases.
When snowshoe hares are scarce, Canada lynx will also feed on small to medium-sized mammals and birds. They hunt by stalking or ambushing prey.
Canada lynx construct a rough bed under a fallen tree or rock ledge for shelter. They climb well and are good swimmers.
Lynx are shy and solitary, except for mothers with cubs. They mark their territories by urinating on trees and rocks. Male territories are larger and can overlap several female territories. Same sex range overlaps also occur and are thought to be those of independent cubs overlapping with their mothers. Females usually have one mate per season, but males may have more than one.
Lynx are active at dawn and dusk (crepuscular). They stay active in winter and their fur becomes thicker and paler. In extreme weather, they take shelter in caves or trees.
Canada lynx give birth to 1-5 kittens in May/June after a gestation period of 63-70 days. The kittens weigh 200-300g at birth, and leave their mothers after they are 10-months-old.
Canada lynx are not listed on the IUCN Red List, but are on CITES: Appendix II. They are hunted for their fur and by farmers, as they are considered to be a predator of domestic animals.