Hin­ter­land Who’s Who

Wild - - NEWS - Text by An­nie Lan­glois Il­lus­tra­tion by Ash­ley Bar­ron hww.ca

Canada Lynx

Sci­en­tific Name Lynx canaden­sis Habi­tat

Even though the Canada Lynx lives al­most all over Canada, it’s re­ally hard to see it in the wild! This se­cre­tive fe­line is most ac­tive at night, hid­ing and hunt­ing un­der the cover of the for­est trees. It is most com­mon in old-growth bo­real for­est, but it can live in any forested area.

Size and colour

The Canada Lynx looks a bit like a large do­mes­tic cat. It has a short tail, long legs, large feet (which act like snow­shoes in the deep snow) and hair stick­ing out of the top of its ears. Dur­ing the win­ter, it’s light grey and slightly spotted, while in the sum­mer, its fur is shorter and more red­dish brown. The tips of its tail and ears are al­ways black. The Bob­cat, an­other wild fe­line liv­ing in Canada, is sim­i­lar to the Lynx but is slightly smaller, has smaller feet and has more spots on its red­dish fur.


Canada Lynx ab­so­lutely have a favourite meal: the Snow­shoe Hare! This prey makes up about three-fourths of its diet, but in the sum­mer es­pe­cially, lynxes may also eat grouse, voles, mice, squir­rels and foxes. A hungry lynx will de­vour an en­tire hare in one meal! It may also hide a part of its prey as a snack for later.

Lynx hunt at night

They don’t track their prey by smell. They pre­fer to watch silently and lis­ten for their meal. Be­cause they can­not run fast ex­cept over short dis­tances, they stalk or am­bush their prey at close range. A com­mon strat­egy is to lie in wait be­side well-used trails un­til a hare comes close enough to pounce on.

How is it Do­ing?

In the past, Canada Lynx were trapped in such great num­bers that they al­most dis­ap­peared from some ar­eas. Now, even though trap­ping is still go­ing on, rules and reg­u­la­tions are help­ing to keep lynx pop­u­la­tions healthy. Even if the Canada Lynx is do­ing well in Canada, it does tend to live in older forests, which are un­der pres­sure from log­ging. It’s im­por­tant to keep large ar­eas of forests around to make sure that lynx con­tinue to thrive!

What You Can Do

When you get out to spend time in a for­est, take only pic­tures, and leave only foot­prints! It’s im­por­tant to keep the Canada Lynx’s habi­tat as clean as pos­si­ble. Us­ing re­cy­cled pa­per, when you can, can also lend a hand in pre­serv­ing our for­est habi­tats.

What the Cana­dian Wildlife Fed­er­a­tion is Do­ing

CWF has done many projects to help the Canada Lynx’s bo­real for­est habi­tat. By know­ing more about how the for­est works, and how we can pro­tect it, we’re help­ing the Canada Lynx and other crit­ters liv­ing there.

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