THE LYNX- one of the world's endangered species

 

Canada Lynx


 

The Canada Lynx, a wildcat, is a sturdy looking animal set on solid looking legs, a rear noticeably longer than the front, with large paws, a fairly small head, and a very short tail.Though similar in appearance to bobcats, lynx are larger and have longer ear tufts and different tail markings. The lynx's tail is tawny gray with a black tip, whereas the bobcat's tail has narrow black bands and a black tip. Lynx are tawny gray, sometimes with faint spots on their inner legs. Both their gray-brown faces and light gray ear tufts are edged with black. The cats' large eyes and ears give them excellent sight and hearing. Like most other cats, lynx have retractable claws for capturing prey, fighting and climbing. In winter, their large feet act like snowshoes, enabling the cats to walk easily on the surface of deep snow. Dense, coarse hair that grows on their paws in winter also increases the snowshoe effect and helps keep their feet warm. Average length is 3 feet, height 2 feet, and weight 10-40 pounds.

Biology - Female lynx bear usually 2 kittens in May-July who remain with her throughout their first winter. They make their dens in hollow trees, tangled thickets and under logs, stumps and fallen timber. Their large, thickly furred feet allow them to stalk their prey silently and give them better speed through soft snow where other animals may flounder, though not the Snowshoe Hare which is the lynx's chief prey. A chief characteristic is their 9-10 year cycle of peaking which parallels that of the snowshoe hare. The lynx lives as long as 12-13 years; the chief factor of death is lack of nutrition. Man, who values its long, silky fur, the wolf and Mountain Lion are its main predators. 


Tracks - The lynx resides mainly in snowy country and has therefore adapted to this climate. The feet are heavily furred making the tracks appear rounded and obscuring the toe prints. The tracks are larger than that of a bobcat and similar to a mountain lions although the lynx doesn't sink as deeply into the snow. 
Habitat: The lynx's range extends over most of Canada and Alaska and south into parts of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana.


Food: About 75% of the lynx's diet is made up of the snowshoe hare. Lynx also eat other small mammals and some birds, including voles, squirrels and grouse. Sometimes they consume larger animals that they find already dead. The lynx's summer diet is more varied than the winter diet.


Habitat:
The Canada lynx's range extends over most of Canada and Alaska and south into parts of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. The European Lynx's habitat ranges from Scandinavia to Siberia. Lynx maintain territories which may overlap, but they are solitary animals and avoid contact. They seek company only in order to mate.

Iberian Lynx

The Iberian Lynx-One of the most endangered feline species.

 


The Species:

 

Canada Lynx (Lynx canadensis).. North American Lynx, Canadian Lynx
Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardinus).. Spanish Lynx, Lynx Ibérico, Pardel Lynx 
Siberian Lynx (Lynx lynx wrangeli)..Eurasian Lynx

Eurasian Lynx. Photo courtesy Nancy Vandermey, Feline Conservation Center (FCC)

Turkestan Lynx (Lynx lynx isabellinus).. European Lynx

 

 

"Make endangered species a vivid presence in the lives of people. Make it clear that every endangered species has a name, has a million-year history, has a place in the world. Bring us face-to-face with each one of those species. Make us know that they are our companions in the biosphere. They are not just something out there you look at once in a while, but they're a part of our existence ... they are a part of us." 
~Edward O. Wilson


Bibliography/Acnowlegements/Links:

Iberian lynx pic courtesy Naturlink

Wisconsin Dept of Natural Resources

BC Adventure

The following video features an interview with Dr. Jane Goodall on saving endangered species

Keep the beaches free.. join the Surfrider movement.

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