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Canada Lynx

Canada Lynx Lynx canadensis is a beautiful wild felid (or cat) of the boreal forest. Like the cougar and the bobcat, the other two members of the cat family (Felidae) native to Canada,

Canada Lynx

Canada Lynx

The coloration of lynx varies, but is normally yellowish-brown. The upper parts may have a frosted, gray look and the underside may be more buff. Many individuals have dark spots. The tail is quite short and is often ringed and tipped with black. The fur on the body is long and thick. The hair is particularly long on the neck in winter.

The triangular ears are tipped with tufts of long black hairs. The paws are quite large and furry, helping to distribute the weight of the animal when moving on snow.Head-body length is between 670 and 1,067 mm and tail length ranges from 50 to 130 mm. Amimals typically weigh between 4.5 and 17.3 kg. On average, males weigh slightly more than females.

Food habits: More than 75% of the lynx’s diet in winter is snowshoe hares, and when hares are abundant a lynx may kill one every one or two days. In summer the lynx’s diet is more varied. But even in summer hares remain the main prey, supplemented by grouse, voles, mice, squirrels, and foxes. A hungry lynx will devour an entire hare in one meal; partially-eaten prey may be hidden and eaten later.

Canada Lynxes

Canada Lynxes

Lynxes hunt at night. They watch and listen for prey, but they do not seem to track it by smell. Like all members of the cat family, they move very silently. Although excellent climbers, they are seldom found in trees. Because they cannot run fast except over short distances, they stalk or ambush their prey at close range.

Behavior: Active year-round, the Canada lynx is usually silent and solitary. Lynx have a poor sense of smell, but remarkable eyesight that is well adapted for night hunting. Lynx scent-mark their territories to avoid interactions with other lynx. Their home range is 6- 8 square miles, although lynx will travel longer distances when prey is scarce. Snowshoe hare is their staple food. Lynx populations follow fluctuations in the hare population, with peaks every 9-10 years

Life Cycle: The mating system of these animals is not reported. However, female home ranges are usually encompassed by the home range of a male, and the home ranges of multiple females may overlap. This distribution, in conjuction with the slight sexual dimorphism, indicate that the species is probably polygynous.

Females enter estrus only once per year and raise one litter per year. Estrus lasts 1 to 2 days. Mating in February and March is folowed by a gestation period of from 8 to 10 weeks. Litters typically have 2 or 3 kittens, though the number may range from 1 to 5. Lynx weigh about 200 g at birth. Lactation lasts for 5 months, although kittens eat some meat as early as one month of age.

Canada Lynx kits

Canada Lynx Kits

Males do not participate in parental care. Young remain with the mother until the following winter’s mating season, and siblings may remain together for a while after separation from the mother. Females reach sexual maturity at 21 months and males at 33 months.

Females give birth to their young in fallen logs, stumps, clumps of timber, or similar tangles of roots and branches. This, one assumes, helps to protect the young from potential predators.All parental care is provided by females. Young are altricial at birth, but have well-developed pelage. Nursing lasts for about 5 months, after which the young eat prey. Mothers may help to educate their young in hunting techniques, and cooperative hunting has been observed. lynx have lived as long as 14.5 years. In captivity, lifespans of 26.75 years have been recorded.

Trapping:The most important influence of people on the lynx has been through trapping. The lynx is easily trapped, and when fur prices rise, trappers take a larger proportion of the lynx population. Intense trapping can remove most lynxes from a given area. Historically, trapping has caused long-term changes in the size of the lynx population in Canada. Lynx populations began to decline after 1900, and the decline continued to the mid-1950s.

At that time, garments made of long-haired furs went out of fashion, there was a major depression in fur prices and a decline in trapping, and the lynx population was able to recover. Since the early 1970s, the demand for lynx pelts has risen steadily. The average price paid per pelt went from about $30 in 1970 to peak in the mid-1980s at over $500 per pelt. By 1990, it had fallen to $117.

Canada Lynx

Canada Lynx

lynx is trapped in all provinces and territories except Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. Trapping is confined to regulated seasons, and wildlife managers can vary the regulations as needed from year to year and among districts within a province. Many jurisdictions have also placed restrictions on the number of lynxes that may be killed. Some biologists have recommended closing trapping seasons entirely during lows in the population cycle. Several provinces are carefully studying the influence of trapping on their lynx populations and adjusting regulations to protect this renewable resource.

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