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Canada Lynx | Online Record Book Preview


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Canada Lynx - Species Detail

AKA: Gold: 8 12/16" Gold (Bow): 8 5/16"
Endangered: Silver: 8 8/16" Silver (Bow): 0"
Bronze: 8" Bronze (Bow): 7 4/16"
Canada Lynx

Lynx canadensis

Lince (Sp), Luchs (G), Lynx (F). Also called North American lynx.

DESCRIPTION (male) Head and body length 31-39 inches (79-99 cm). Tail length 2-5 inches (5.1 to 12.7 cm). Shoulder height 20-30 inches (51-76 cm). Weight 20-35 pounds (9-16 kg). Females are smaller than males. Chromosome count is 38. Lynx (and bobcats) differ from most cats by having two instead of three upper premolars on each side, for a total of 28 teeth instead of the usual 30.

A distinctive, medium-sized cat with a short tail, tufted ears, pronounced cheek ruffs, comparatively long legs and large feet. The coat is commonly a yellowish-brown frosted with gray, with the underparts buff. The winter coat is long, soft and thick. Paws are thickly furred for walking in snow.

BEHAVIOR Solitary except when breeding. Probably territorial. Mates during February and March. The female has one litter a year, usually with 2-3 kittens (range is 1-5) that remain with her until the following winter. Lifes pan as much as 11 years in captivity.

Mainly nocturnal, but does hunt and travel during the day, particularly in the far north where it is mostly daylight during summer. A good swimmer, sometimes crossing large rivers. A poor runner, but walks tirelessly and climbs trees well. Good eyesight, well-developed hearing, and adequate sense of smell. Hunts mainly by sight. Preys mostly on the snowshoe, or varying, hare (Lepus americanus), but also on rodents, birds and fish. During periods of deep snow in winter, will kill deer and sometimes even larger animals. Does not eat carrion. Its numbers seem to be more affected by availability of prey animals than by human hunting pressure. Hudson's Bay Company trapping records confirm that lynx populations will vary directly with snowshoe hare numbers, typically being one year behind the snowshoe hare's cycle of 9-1/2 years.

HABITAT Tall forest with dense undergrowth, but also open forest, rocky areas and tundra.

DISTRIBUTION Northern North America, where it is found throughout Alaska and most of Canada. Also in northern Washington, northern Idaho, western Montana and elsewhere in other parts of the northern United States.

In southern parts of its range, its distribution overlaps that of its close relative the bobcat, which replaces it in the rest of the United States and in Mexico.

REMARKS Traditionally a furbearing animal that is trapped during the winter when its fur is prime; however, it is also a demanding game animal when hunted. Only lynx that have been hunted, not trapped, will be accepted for publication in the Record Book.

TAXONOMIC NOTES Lynx are found across northern Europe and Asia as well as in North America, and scientists differ as to how to classify them. Some place them in the genus Lynx, others in Felis. Some treat the Canada lynx as a distinct species, some consider it a subspecies of Eurasian lynx, and some believe all the world's lynx form a single species. Following current consensus, we treat the Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis), Eurasian lynx (L. lynx) and Spanish lynx (L. pardinus) as separate species within the genus Lynx. Two subspecies of Canada lynx have been listed, subsolanus (Newfoundland Island) and canadensis (rest of the species range), but we do not separate them.


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The Canada Lynx currently has 78 Entries listed in the SCI Record Book!

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