Lynx

An adaptable species, the Lynx has one of the widest distributions of any wild cat, although it is now less common in Europe than it once was.

ANIMAL FACTS

The Lynxes can be encountered in a wide range of environments, although they generally remain hidden during the day, emerging under cover of darkness. They tend to favour forested habitat where suitable hiding places are readily available, but they can also be found in treeless tundra areas. These cats are patient hunters, frequently waiting to ambush their quarry, although they can sprint over short distances to make a kill. Pairs come together in the breeding season — males are recognizable by their larger size.

VITAL STATISTICS

Distribution: Occurs from Scandinavia to northeastern Asia, especially common in Siberia. Has been reintroduced to forested parts of Europe, including the Pyrenees and Bavaria.

Weight: 8 – 38 kg (18 – 84 lb).

Length: 91 – 155 cm (35 – 61 in) including tail.

Maturity: Females 21 months; males 33 months.

Gestation Period: 63 – 70 days.

Breeding: 1 – 5.

Food: Deer, wild boar and chamois, but may also hunt rabbits, rodents and birds.

Lifespan: Average 7 – 9 years in the wild, but has lived more than 21 years in captivity.

Ears

The dark tufts of longer fur on the tips of the triangular ears are characteristic of this species.

Neck

The fur around the neck is longer, especially in the winter, creating the impression of a ruff.

Coat

The patterning varies. Some individuals are more striped than spotted, while others have plain coats. The underparts are paler.

Tail

The tail is short and prominently tipped with black fur.

The paws of the lynx are relatively large.

LYNX ATTACK

Eurasian lynxes are often blamed for attacks on farm animals, but they normally hunt wild animals such as hares and rabbits.

Northern lynx

Length: 80 – 100 cm (31.5 – 39.5 in).

Weight: 5.1 – 30 kg; (11.25 – 66.14 lb).

Most of these cats live in Canada, although they spread south into Montana, Idaho and Washington. They prefer mature forests with thick undergrowth where they can lurk unseen, but they also venture into open habitats such as tundra. The fur is long, thick and yellow-brown, sometimes with dark spots. The tail is short, with dark rings and a black tip, and the ears are tufted. Lynx hunt at night, finding their food in a defended territory. They stalk prey such as Snowshoe hares, rodents and birds, pouncing on their victims when they come within range. They also eat fish. A litter of two or three cubs is produced in early summer. The young are suckled for five months and stay with their mother for a year. The young lynx reach adulthood between the ages of two and three.

Gallery of Lynx