Since 1900, lynx sightings in Wisconsin have occurred when the 10-year cycle of snowshoe hares in Canada has crashed. Other food items may include red squirrels, ruffed grouse, voles, fishers, foxes, and small deer and caribou.  Both species walk with the back foot typically following the front foot and often do not follow a straight line.  Hybridization between Canada lynxes and bobcats has been reported in the southern periphery of the range.  A 2017 study reported increasing numbers in many areas in the United States. Breeding. Predators of Canada Lynx. Canada lynx look like they have wide faces, thanks to long patches of fur that grow like beards along their cheeks. Individuals, particularly of the same sex, tend to avoid each other, forming "intrasexual" territories. Other predators, including owls and foxes, also feed on hares—at least 95 percent of snowshoes that die when numbers crash are killed by predators. The lynx continues to occur in most of Alaska and its erstwhile range in Canada. Female offspring typically settle in home ranges close to their mothers and remain in contact with them for life, while male offspring move far from their mother's range. These same qualities also give the lynx a competitive advantage over other predators, such as coyotes, foxes, and … Females have only a single estrus cycle; estrus lasts three to five days in captivity. Lynx live in dense forests across northern Canada, in northern Minnesota and Maine, and in mountainous areas of northwestern United States. A 1985 study showed that the mean size of home ranges trebled—from 13.2 to 39.2 km2 (5.1 to 15.1 sq mi)—when the density of hares fell from 14.7 to 1/ha (5.95 to 0.40/acre). Northwest Science 80(3):199–206.  In a study in the southern Northwest Territories, ranges of individuals of opposite sexes were found to overlap extensively, while the ranges of individuals of the same sex hardly coincided. LYNX CANADENSIS. As the forelimbs are shorter than the hindlimbs, the back slopes downward toward the front. In the United States, the Canada lynx occurs in the Blue Mountains, the Cascade Range and the southern Rocky Mountains, the Great Lakes region and New England.  The taxonomy of the Canada lynx remained in dispute through the 20th and early 21st centuries. The lynx is listed as Endangered in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. It is characterized by its long, dense fur, triangular ears with black tufts at the tips, and broad, snowshoe-like paws. Aside from animal threats, the Canadian lynx's main threat comes from human impact and …  The large, broad paws are covered in long, thick fur and can spread as wide as 10 cm (3.9 in) to move quickly and easily on soft snow. This lynx occurs predominantly in dense boreal forests, and its range strongly coincides with that of the snowshoe hare. The lynx stalks and ambushes its prey. By the early 1900s, lynx no longer bred in Wisconsin. Lynx diverged from the Puma, Felis and Prionailurus plus Otocolobus lineages around 2.53–4.74 mya.  A study in 2019 estimated the Newfoundland lynx to have diverged from the mainland lynx around 20,000 to 33,000 years ago following the last glaciation. The two common methods are examining the tracks of the lynx in snow (snow-tracking) and radio telemetry; snow-tracking generally gives smaller sizes for home ranges. Canada lynxes have been reported to live sixteen years in the wild, though most do not survive ten; in captivity they may make it to twenty-seven. Roads threaten the lynx by fragmenting its habitat, isolating lynx populations, exposing them to predators, and providing competitor species new access to habitat formerly dominated by the lynx. Luckily, lynx can use different adaptations, like their whiskers, to detect incoming predators while they are hunting.  However, Canada lynxes are known to disperse over large distances, often thousands of kilometres, which might increase genetic variability in widely separated populations. Canada lynxes have been recorded up to an elevation of 4,310 m (14,140 ft). Despite its long legs, the Canada lynx cannot run fast. Coyotes, with a success rate of 36.9%, emerged as more successful hunters than lynxes that succeeded in 28.7% of their hunts; however, this may have resulted from the greater number of adult coyotes in the studied population. Canadian Geographic is a magazine of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Aside from habitat loss, one of the main factors imperiling the medium-sized wild cat was a decline in … Following a cyclic fall in populations during the mid to late 1980s, there was a sharp decline in the prices and harvest of Canada lynx furs—the average number of pelts exported from Canada and the United States fell from 35,669 in 1980–1984 to 7,360 between 1986 and 1989.  The stubby tail, typical of lynxes, is 5–13 cm (2.0–5.1 in) long; while the bobcat's tail is black only in the upper part, the tail of the Canada lynx has a completely black tip. "A snow-tracking protocol used to delineate local lynx, U.S. The lynx is a good swimmer and an agile climber. Some lynx will sit still for hours to just to snatch a bite! 1983, Buskirk et al. The lynx may eat its kill immediately or cache it in snow or leaves to eat it over the next few days. The Royal Canadian Geographical Society is dedicated to making Canada better known to Canadians, and the world. Their large feet and long legs help them “float” on the snow and achieve amazing bursts of speed. In summer, the coats are short, thin and light brown. Snowshoe hares are the main source of food for Canada lynx. In scent stations, the lynx is typically lured into camera-monitored areas by skunk scent (sometimes catnip) and a "flasher" such as a bird wing on a string. In the United States in the south, the main threats are habitat fragmentation and change, accidents, and increased competition against other predators. Canada lynx are especially vulnerable to global warming. ), Subscribe to Can Geo Today >Digital Edition >Our FREE Newsletters >.  By 2010, after an 11-year effort, the lynx had been successfully reintroduced into Colorado. There are large spaces between the four canines and the rest of the teeth, and the second upper premolars are absent, to ensure the bite goes as deeply as possible into the prey. The lynx waits for the hare on specific trails or in "ambush beds", then pounces on it and kills it by a bite on its head, throat or the nape of its neck. The Canadian Lynx is a more dangerous predator and a somewhat larger cat than is the Bobcat. Offspring are weaned at 12 weeks.  The backs of the ears are brown with a silvery-grey spot at the centre. Lynx have acute hearing, and their large, furry paws act as snowshoes, allowing the cats to track and capture the swift snowshoe hares in deep snow. The loup cervier, lucivee, and Indian devil are all names used by old-time Maine woodsmen for the elusive Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis). In order to maintain a competitive advantage over other predators, this species depends on high elevation habitat with cold, snowy winters.  Snowshoe hare populations in Alaska and central Canada undergo cyclic rises and falls—at times the population densities can fall from as high as 2,300/km2 (6,000/sq mi) to as low as 12/km2 (31/sq mi).  The Canada lynx is abundant over its broad range and has not been significantly threatened by legal trade for centuries. In the past, the lynx occurred from the northern United States (in 24 states), possibly up to the Rocky Mountains in New Mexico, to the tree line in the Arctic through coniferous forests in Alaska and Canada. Predators. Females can be induced ovulators when the availability of mates is low, or spontaneous ovulators when several mates are available. Click here to learn more. There are four nipples.  Even without regulation, the lynx-hare cycles and the distribution of the lynx have remained unaffected over the last century. Average weight: Approximately eight kilograms to 14 kilograms, Average length: Approximately 90 centimetres, Average lifespan: Up to 15 years in the wild. , "Canadian lynx" redirects here. Sneak Skills. Tufts on ears help to channel sound, providing exceptional hearing. The most distinguishing characteristic is the lynx unusually large, densely furred feet that help them travel over snow. Barrow, Alaska", "Notes on the lynxes of eastern North America, with descriptions of two new species", "A revised taxonomy of the Felidae: The final report of the Cat Classification Task Force of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group", "The Late Miocene radiation of modern Felidae: A genetic assessment", "Phylogeny and evolution of cats (Felidae)", "How to avoid incidental take of lynx while trapping or hunting bobcats and other furbearers", International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, "Functional responses of coyotes and lynx to the snowshoe hare cycle", 10.1890/0012-9658(1998)079[1193:FROCAL]2.0.CO;2, "Observations on home range sizes, movements, and social organization of lynx, (, "Ecology of lynx in northern Canada and Alaska", "DNA reveals high dispersal synchronizing the population dynamics of Canada lynx", "Snow conditions may create an invisible barrier for lynx", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, "What drives the 10-year cycle of snowshoe hares? After a gestation of two to three months, a litter of one to eight kittens is born.  However, a few other studies have reported different responses from Canada lynxes at times of prey scarcity; some lynxes do not show any changes in their ranges, while others may resort to hunting in small areas, occupying small home ranges. The southern populations gradually evolved into the modern bobcat. Usually, they find a hiding spot and wait for prey to come near — then they pounce. Lynxes rarely cached their kills, unlike coyotes, and this may have led to incomplete consumption of some kills.  American zoologist W. C. Wozencraft revised the classification of Carnivora in 2005 and recognized the Canada lynx as a species under Lynx, along with the bobcat (L. rufus), the Eurasian lynx (L. lynx) and the Iberian lynx (L.  In January 2018, the USFWS declared that the Canada lynx no longer needed special protections in the United States following measures to preserve their populations, and their "Threatened" status may be revoked in the future. Consequently, a period of hare scarcity occurs every eight to 11 years.  Female home ranges contract in size when the females have offspring to take care of and expand to their original size at the time of weaning.  The dental formula is 188.8.131.52.1.2.1. Habitat and range. The Canada lynx is sexually dimorphic, with males larger and heavier than females. To use its carnassials, the lynx must chew the meat with its head to its side. They are territorial animals, and males live alone most of the time. Climate Change Threats. Boutin and his colleagues have discovered that the lynx population that spans Canada is actually divided into three genetically distinct subpopulations. The lack of appreciable subspecific distinctions led the researchers to doubt the validity of the Newfoundland lynx as a separate subspecies. Average illegal trade in fur and live animals appears to be negligible on the national scale. The RCGS acknowledges that its offices are located on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Peoples, who have been guardians of, and in relationship with, these lands for thousands of years. The lynx ( Lynx canadensis) is the principal predator of the snowshoe hare ( see population ecology). The Canada lynx may look like a slightly larger version of your housecat, but make no mistake — these boreal predators are ferocious! Note the long hair on the lower cheek and the ear tufts characteristic of lynxes. Average weight: Approximately eight kilograms to 14 kilograms. The lynx can cover 8–9 km (5.0–5.6 mi) daily, moving at 0.75–1.46 km/h (0.47–0.91 mph), to procure prey. The trapping of Canada lynx is managed for the fur trade through various mechanisms, including closed seasons, quotas and trapping concessions. The fur is typically yellowish brown, though in Newfoundland it can vary from brown or buff-grey in spring and summer to a greyish shade with a grizzled appearance in winter; the underparts are white and may have a few dark spots.  In northern Canada, the abundance of lynxes can be estimated from records maintained by the Hudson's Bay Company and the Canadian government since the 1730s. These lynxes are good swimmers; one account records a Canada lynx swimming 3.2 km (2 mi) across the Yukon River. , Canada lynxes are trapped in specific seasons in most of Alaska and Canada; hunting seasons and quotas are set based on population data. Known for their secretive natures, lynx are ambush predators that focus on snowshoe hare, squirrels, and ptarmigan. When hares cannot be found, the lynx will prey on small mammals, birds and sometimes even large animals like caribou. 2000). Read More. This North American endemic species occurs mostly in Canada and Alaska, at the edge of forested areas. Scientific name: Lynx Canadensis.  Scavenging is common; they will take ungulates killed by the cold or vehicles. Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative and Yellowstone National Park. Meagher.  The Issoire lynx (L. issiodorensis), believed to be the ancestor of the four modern Lynx species, probably originated in Africa 4 mya and occurred in Europe and northern Asia until it fell to extinction around 1 mya. The Canada lynx has a short body, small tail and long legs.  These lynxes are good swimmers; one account records a Canada lynx swimming 3.2 km (2 mi) across the Yukon River. As temperatures rise with global warming, the snowpack and forests that lynx rely on are predicted to move upward in altitude and northward in latitude. Eyesight is also so strong that a lynx can spot a mouse 250 feet away.  They rely on their vision and sense of hearing to locate prey. The status of wolverines, lynx, and fishers in Yellowstone National Park. The Canadian Lynx is a mammel and a heterotroph, most specifically a carnivore. , Canada lynxes at the periphery of a population, given their smaller numbers and susceptibility to separation from the central population by natural barriers (such as rivers), might face more difficulty in breeding with lynxes towards the centre of the population and hence show lower genetic variability. We further acknowledge and recognize that our work reaches across all of the distinct First Nations, Métis Homelands and Inuit Nunangat, and for this we are grateful. Canada lynx look similar to bobcats, but there are some distinguishing features: bobcats have shorter tufts on their ears, the tip of their tail is black on top and white underneath, and bobcats have shorter legs and smaller feet than lynx. Habitat loss is the main threat in the contiguous United States, while trapping is a relatively insignificant cause of mortality. , Factors such as the availability of prey (primarily snowshoe hare), the density of the lynxes and the topography of the habitat determine the shape and size of the home range. Subsequently, the numbers have increased to 15,387 during 2000–2006. Therefore, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) classifies the Canada lynx as Least Concern. The bounty wasn't lifted until 1957. Later, when the continent was invaded by the Eurasian lynx for a second time within the last 200,000 years, the populations that settled in the northern part of the continent, now devoid of glaciers, evolved into the Canada lynx.  Canada lynxes generally do not leave their home ranges frequently, though limited prey availability can force them to disperse or expand their ranges. The Canada lynx closely resembles its southern forest-dwelling relative, the bobcat, but the truth is in the tail. Canada's LYNX Predator - Limited Edition Silver Commemorative Maple Leaf . They leave the mother at around ten months, as the next breeding season begins, but they do not reach the full adult size until around two years of age. Today, lynx are listed as Threatened in all of the lower 48 states where they are known to occur. , Males tend to occupy larger ranges than do females; for instance, data from a 1980 radio telemetric analysis in Minnesota showed that males' home ranges spread over 145–243 km2 (56–94 sq mi), while those of females covered 51–122 km2 (20–47 sq mi). This feature helps them from cold while travelling in snow. , Apart from Canada lynxes, coyotes are also major predators of the snowshoe hare. Standing between 48 to 56 centimeters tall at the shoulder, spanning 76 to 110 centimeters in length, and weighing in at 8 to 11 kilograms, it’s one of the largest cats to range through the Canadian North and parts of the United States of America. , The Canada lynx is known to host several parasites including Cylicospirura felineus, Taenia species, Toxocara cati, Toxascaris leonina and Troglostrongylus wilsoni.  Canada lynxes could have played a role in the transmission of the zoonotic parasite Toxoplasma gondii to the Inuit in North America. The snowshoe hare population peaks every 10 years, and with it, so does the lynx population.  The 2006 study gave the phylogenetic relationships of the Canada lynx as follows: A study showed that, compared to Canada lynxes, coyotes' feet sink deeper in the snow due to their smaller size and hence a larger body mass to foot area ratio, prompting them to ambush their prey instead of chasing it as lynxes often do. From March to early April ) winter diet consists 90 % -95 % of the World, most specifically carnivore... Housecat, but make no mistake — these boreal predators are ferocious in regulating the populations snowshoe! The tail of around ten bounds may be necessary to trap the prey with its head to its side ]! Is especially vulnerable to climate change Otocolobus lineages around 2.53–4.74 mya or reduced success in hunting hares ears with tufts! 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