Canada lynx, North American lynx, Canada lynx
The Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis ) is a medium-sized North American lynx that ranges across Alaska, Canada, and northern areas 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. Its hindlimbs are longer than the forelimbs, so its back slopes downward to the front. The Canada lynx stands 48–56 cm (19–22 in) tall at the shoulder and weighs between 5 and 17 kg (11 and 37 lb). The lynx is a good swimmer and an agile climber. The Canada lynx was first described by Robert Kerr in 1792. Three subspecies have been proposed, but their validity is doubted; it is mostly considered a monotypic species.Show More
A specialist predator, the Canada lynx depends heavily on the snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus ) for food. This leads to a prey-predator cycle, as Canada lynxes respond to the cyclic rises and falls in snowshoe hare populations over the years in Alaska and central Canada. The Canada lynx population increases with an increasing hare population; if the hare population decreases in a given area, it moves to areas with more hares and has fewer offspring. The Canada lynx hunts mainly around twilight, or at night, when snowshoe hares tend to be active. The lynx 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 mating season is roughly a month long (from March to early April). 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 snowshoe hare. 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. This lynx 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.Show Less
Nocturnality is an animal behavior characterized by being active during the night and sleeping during the day. The common adjective is "nocturnal",...
A carnivore meaning 'meat eater' is an organism that derives its energy and nutrient requirements from a diet consisting mainly or exclusively of a...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
A cursorial organism is one that is adapted specifically to run. An animal can be considered cursorial if it has the ability to run fast (e.g. chee...
A territory is a sociographical area that which an animal consistently defends against the conspecific competition (or, occasionally, against anima...
Among animals, viviparity is the development of the embryo inside the body of the parent. The term 'viviparity' and its adjective form 'viviparous'...
Ambush predators are carnivorous animals that capture or trap prey by stealth, luring, or by (typically instinctive) strategies utilizing an elemen...
Altricial animals are those species whose newly hatched or born young are relatively immobile. They lack hair or down, are not able to obtain food ...
Polygyny is a mating system in which one male lives and mates with multiple females but each female only mates with a single male.
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
CaCanada Province Animals
The Canadian lynx is a cat of medium size with characteristic long ear tufts, a flared facial ruff, and a short, bobbed tail that has a completely black tip. Its paws are unusually large and in very deep snow act like snowshoes. Lynxes have thick fur and long legs, the hind legs being longer than the front legs, giving them a stooped appearance. Males are slightly bigger than females and there is not much geographic variation in size.
Native to North America, the Canadian lynx inhabits a range from the Arctic treeline, southwards through a good part of Alaska and Canada, as well as the north of the adjoining United States. It occurs predominantly in the dense boreal forest, and its range strongly coincides with that of the Snowshoe hare. In the United States, the Canadian lynx occurs in the Blue Mountains, the Cascade Range and the southern Rocky Mountains, the Great Lakes region, and New England. The animal generally avoids open areas despite good prey availability and faces difficulty surviving in heavily logged areas and on agricultural land.
Canadian lynxes appear to be territorial and live solitary lives. Although the ranges of females sometimes overlap, males keep to distinct areas. Within male home ranges, there may be the range of several females and their young. Except during the breeding season in winter, adults generally avoid each other. Hunting mainly at night, these animals are primarily visual predators, however, they also have good hearing. Females and their young sometimes hunt together when they spread out in a line and move through relatively open areas. In this way, prey flushed out by one individual is often caught by another in the line. This hunting method can work quite well and it may be important for educating the young about hunting techniques. Although mainly nocturnal, Canadian lynxes are sometimes active during the day. Their form of shelter is usually a rock ledge, under a group of fallen trees, or a shrub.
Canadian lynxes keep strictly to a carnivorous diet, snowshoe hares being their primary prey. In the southernmost parts of their range, their diet includes rodents, fish, birds, and deer.
Canadian lynxes have a polygynous mating system. The females will only mate during each season with one male, but the males may mate with a number of females. The breeding season is just for a month, somewhere from March to May, according to the local climate. The period of gestation is 8 to 10 weeks and litters usually number 2 or 3, though may be between 1 to 5 kittens. The young weigh from 175 to 235 g (6.2 to 8.3 oz) at birth and initially have greyish buff fur with black markings. They are blind the first 14 days and weaned at 12 weeks. Males do not help to raise their offspring. After about 5 weeks, the kittens leave the den, and they begin hunting between 7 and 9 months old. They leave their mother when the next breeding season starts. Siblings may stay together for some time after separating from their mother. Females reach reproductive maturity at 10 months but often delay breeding another year; males mature at age 2 or 3.
In eastern Canada, the Canadian lynx is competing with the eastern coyote, which, over the last few decades, has expanded its range. In the United States in the south, the main threats are habitat fragmentation and change, accidents, and increased competition against other predators. Significant numbers of deaths are also due to rabies and distemper.
The IUCN Red List and other sources do not provide the Canada lynx total population size. However, this species’ numbers are stable and currently, it is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List.
Canadian lynxes are important in controlling their prey populations. This is especially noticeable in the population cycles of lynxes and snowshoe hares.