Lynx canadensis

Range: Alaska and Canada, extending southwards to Colorado in the Rocky Mountains; a few are found in the Great Lakes states and New England

Habitat: Boreal forests (northernmost forest in the Northern Hemisphere); prefer large areas of forests with relatively open canopies and well-developed understories.

Conservation status: Least concern; have been reintroduced into Colorado and are protected here
Habitat fragmentation due to development and trapping are the most important human influence on the lynx.

Canada Lynx


  • • Keeping forests intact is the only way to keep the lynx population healthy.
    • Because of very reduced numbers of lynx in Colorado, the Colorado Division of Wildlife brought lynx from Canada into Colorado in 1999. In Colorado, studies indicate that the lynx prefer dense spruce-fir stands in association with rocky outcroppings.
    • Principle food of lynx is the snowshoe hare and populations of the two are known to fluctuate in cycles—the more hares born in a given year, the more lynx—the fewer hares, the fewer lynx.
    • Other prey may include squirrels, mice, and some birds including grouse. In addition, they may eat deer, caribou, and moose, the latter as carrion, as fawns, or calves.
    • To stay in good condition, approximately four snowshoe hares (or the equivalent) are required per week. They cache hares when they are plentiful.
    • The lynx has a variety of vocalizations, like those made by house cats, but louder.
    • Prey are normally stalked to within a few feet and then pounced upon, although some animals may lay wait to ambush for long periods. Sometimes females and young hunt for hares cooperatively by fanning out and moving through open areas with one animal scaring up the prey while another catches it.
    • Lynx may den under ledges, logs, or occasionally in caves.
    • Winter coat is light grey and slightly mottled with long guard hairs; the undercoat is brownish, and the ear

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