The Canada lynx is a medium-sized North American wildcat that ranges across Alaska, Canada and many of the contiguous United States. It is characterized by its long, dense fur, triangular ears with black tufts at the tips, and broad, snowshoe-like paws. The lynx stands 48–56 cm tall at the shoulder and weighs between 5 and 17 kg.
About Canada lynx in brief
The Canada lynx is a medium-sized North American wildcat that ranges across Alaska, Canada and many of the contiguous United States. It is characterized by its long, dense fur, triangular ears with black tufts at the tips, and broad, snowshoe-like paws. As in the bobcat, the lynx’s hindlimbs are longer than the forelimbs, so the back slopes downward to the front. The lynx stands 48–56 cm tall at the shoulder and weighs between 5 and 17 kg. It is regularly trapped for the international fur trade in most of Alaska and Canada but is protected in the southern half of its range due to threats such as habitat loss. Given its abundance throughout the range, and lack of severe threats, the Canada lynX has been listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. The Lynx is believed to be the ancestor of the modern Lynx species, probably originated in Africa and occurred in northern Europe and Asia until it fell to extinction around 1.8 million years ago. The population of the Eurasian lynx fell to 2.4 mya – 74,000 years ago and is now estimated to be around 53,mya–4.5 million years old. The Canadian lynx was first described by Robert Kerr in 1792. Three subspecies have been proposed, but their validity is doubted. A study in 2019 estimated the Newfoundland lynx to have diverged from the mainland lynx 20,000 years ago following the last glaciation.
According to a 2006 phylogenetic study, the five extant felid lineages are the Lynx, Leopard, Puma, Felis, Prionailurus plus Otocolus plus Otobus—and the Felis lineages around 33 to 33 million years old. The species is considered a monotypic species in its revision of felid taxonomy, since the subspecies show little morphological or genetic differences. It has been considered a subgenus of Felis or a subfamily itself; some even doubted if it should be considered a species on its own. The mating season is roughly a month long. After a gestation of two to three months, a litter of one to eight kittens is born. Offspring are weaned at 12 weeks. This lynx occurs predominantly in dense boreal forests, and its range strongly coincides with that of the snowsh shoe hare. It hunts mainly around twilight, or at night, when snowshOE hares tend to be active. It 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. Individuals, particularly of the same sex, tend to avoid each other, forming \”intrasexual\” territories. The Canada lynxes tend to move to areas with more hares and tend not to produce litters, and as the numbers of the hares increase, so do the populations of the lynxes.